Term Three was hard. I tried to write this reflection in the holidays and couldn't bring myself to it. I tried to write it during the first two weeks of Term Four and I couldn't bring myself to it. It's only now, that I've had a long weekend away that I feel ready to record my reflections in writing.
It's not that it was a bad term - far from it. I even quite like a busy term, so it wasn't totally that either. But there was something about the term that didn't go right and I really can't put my finger on what exactly it was. Unfortunately, whatever it was had a snowballing effect and by the end I was making big about little things. That's not really me.
It was a really odd feeling, it was like my head was full of fog and I couldn't see anything clearly. I didn't feel like I was doing my best work. I dealt with this snowballing by keeping the focus I had on the children and the team. I reduced whatever personal 'work' I could. I stopped tweeting as well as stopped publishing blog posts. There's a few drafts there that I will go back and review.
In an open space and ILE, your team are your flatmates. For 8 hours a day you 'live' with them. The are your support - like a machine in which all the components work together in a rhythm. Unfortunately one of our team members became quite ill for a time, and although no one is irreplaceable as far as work load is concerned, you do miss the rhythm that that person provides.
If there's one thing I've learnt about this year, it's about teaming and collaboration. I've blogged before about the value of working in this way and I would find it very difficult now to go back to single-cell teaching. However, (and I'm very brave to put this out there) I do wonder if I'm the only one who sometime feels like it holds you back a bit. In some ways you can only go as fast as the 'slowest' person. Let me explain - when you're in your single cell you prioritise your next steps/focus: maths development, use of space, teaching technique, school belief etc. and you get on and do it. When you're in a team, each of you are still individual thinkers, so often your priorities will be different and two things can happen. One - you feel like your priority is not priority enough. Two - they all become priorities and then you feel overwhelmed because not only is there a number of different focuses, but there is a number of different people to bring on board.
It adds a certain pressure to each team member because you're constantly trying to please everyone - and as the saying goes "you can't please everyone". Of course this is where a shared vision is essential and I feel most grateful that this is a constant focus of staff, teacher and team meetings.
I would like to finish this post with some of the highlights of term three:
Pirate House Day
The movement in some of my readers