Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Inquiry...I can do this

So I finally jumped in and joined an inquiry group during my pro-d today. I admit the reason I haven't done it sooner is that I was worried that being a DL teacher I wouldn't fit, that I would have to spend hours learning how to "do" the inquiry process, and there would be a large poster board I would have to present at end. But what I came away with was something completely different.

The day started with two fantastic presenters and facilitators, Shelley Moore and Leyton Schnell, who spoke on inclusion and collaboration, (and who both could do quite well on the stand-up comedian circuit if this education thing doesn't work out for them.)

Shelley framed (ooh I just made an outstanding pun) the question of  what the point of inclusion is by using a bowling metaphor.  Briefly, this is how that metaphor went. She talked about teaching being like bowling. In bowling the most difficult shot is the 7/10 split (outside pins are left behind)  The kids who need the most support and are the most challenging are those outside pins. So we usually shoot for the middle and those outside  get left (gifted and challenged). Her point is that a professional bowler never throws down the middle they shoot for the outside and curve it in in order to get all the pins. In other words you aim for the hardest to hit pins.  So just as Shelley promised, her metaphor was mind blowing.
So her closing question was "how would you change your teaching to change your aim?".  But I wanted to stay with her bowling metaphor for a bit longer.
My first knee jerk reaction was  that to be a professional bowler you need to have the best tools and technology (a top of the line bowling ball, a brand new bowling alley with good lighting and stylish shoes for example) Not to mention an expert coach at one's side to practice those difficult shots.  I wanted to put my hand up and say in our world we are given too many pins and by the time we set the pins up ourselves after every frame we are barely able to heave the ball down the middle with the old two handed fling from between the legs.  In other words, we need support! Time, resources, smaller classes and better technology.

Then I attended my first meeting with my new inquiry group. In an afternoon I found myself attached to a wonderful group of people that I know will help me stay on track with my goals and made me feel connected to a rich source of help and in turn I hope there might be something things I can support them with on our journey to look at new curriculum and ways of delivering that curriculum to all.   By the end of the meeting, I realized that I might not ever get my own  professional bowling coach,  but I was now on a team that would cheer me on, give me pointers and lend me a new set of shoes if I needed.  

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