As part of the Agency Team we wanted to share our practises and get other teachers starting to think about how they can get their learners to be more agentic.
St Patrick's Day celebrations were in full flight this morning, hence the sprinkle of green on us!
We have had many teachers, especially in the Junior school, finding it difficult to see how their learners can be agentic as they thought it had to be children independently doing everything. However, during my session we talked about children becoming agentic as a journey, there are steps that the children will take throughout their education and we are continually creating stimulating environments for them to achieve.
My background has always been Early Years and this year I chose to go up to the big scary world of the Seniors. When making the choice to move up the thing I thought I was going to miss the most was all the 'fun' eg dressing up as a princess, putting on different voices and most of all using my resources to interact with the learners because I would have to pretend to be cool. To my surprise, and this is what I shared with the teachers, seniors still love all this. I remember when on a training day in the U.K. a successful Headteacher said to me 'teaching in the Early Years will prepare you for teaching in all the years.' And I didn't realise what she meant until now. In order to get 3-7 year olds engaged you need to make your teaching visible, interactive and stimulating or else they won't even look at you. But I think just because the older kids are more disciplined we can forget they need all of this as well but it just might look a bit different. It's safe to say, once I started to get the dress up box out and use Superheroes in their learning they were loving it, and it also meant I didn't have to pretend to be as cool as I thought because I think they were seeing right through that act.
'Visible learning is teachers seeing learning through the eyes of their students and students seeing themselves as their own teachers.' - John Hattie
I illustrated how I have been continually refining my visible resources and how it is crucial to build a language for learning through interactive teaching as part of the early stages in the journey of agency. Eventually we want the children independently noticing how their choices have impacts on their overall future. Therefore, building the children's self awareness and ability to reflect are the stepping stones to this. It was great to share this with colleagues and they have been requesting that I share these resources so they can use them in their teaching, juniors and seniors alike.
Although we do not know what the future holds I feel we have to attempt to understand what qualities and skills will be needed/desired to be successful adults: creative, risk takers who can self regulate and adapt to a changing environment (with confidence or resilience?). - That's my thoughts anyways. Helping children to accept and understand what ‘comfortable with being uncomfortable so you are prepared for anything’ means.