An exercise to explore school improvement

1. Consider this list of "changes" that one might make as a teacher in order to improve one's effectiveness: "write a new course", " read about and implement a different approach to marking homework ", " change one's beliefs about the potential of one's students", "reflect on the language one uses with students, consider the extent to which it empowers or belittles them, and make changes", " go to a sharing-good-practice session and implement something from the session in your classroom", "invite a colleague to observe a lesson and give you feedback about your 'way of being' with the students", " flip your classroom", "reflect on your body language in the classroom and improve it"...

2. Add some more to the list yourself.

3. Write each of the "changes" on post-it notes, and give each a mark out of ten for the potential they have to improve outcomes for learners in your classroom.

4. On a board, draw a wee picture of yourself in the middle, and place each of the changes on the board, depending on how personal they feel: "be a different person" would be right on top of you and "perform an administrative task" would be far away.

5. Step back and survey your creation.

I'm not really expecting you to do this (though it might make an interesting task for an in-service session), but as a thought experiment I hope it illustrates why I believe that school transformation requires the personal transformation of its staff - teachers and leaders.


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