Liked School Reborn 2020: Part 3 by Richard Wells (EDUWELLS)
Ideas and connections made in just the first 6 months of our two-year journey include: timetable redesign ideas from staff and students; how to fit mentoring into the existing timetable until we change it; how we can develop project-based learning within the existing structures to prepare material for 2020. Teachers have made their own links with other integrated and project-based schools (without being asked to).
Bookmarked Welcome to Workload High School (EDUWELLS)
Proposal: Changing your high school structures to match the thinking of Finland, New Zealand, Ken Robinson, and many others will halve your class sizes and stress levels.
Richard Wells reflects upon the structures of high school and potential of projects to shake this up. He provides a series of ideas to support this:

It’s easier implemented as a full school and not in a seperate programme.

Teachers design a menu of interdisciplinary projects based around themes or phenomenon that have a focus on key existing curriculum.

All non-teaching / personal time slots are simultaneous for all. This means all teachers, rooms and resources are timetabled for simultaneous use, meaning each teacher shares the load and you have smaller student numbers to monitor on either a project and mentor group.

Consider Zoning groups of classrooms into Project zones. The usual 5 teachers from 5 rooms are timetabled into the zone to each mentor their smaller number of students.

All teachers take on a general academic mentoring group to focus on learning and project progress.

Teachers share the planning and monitoring of projects which makes the measuring of progress more palatable than traditional standardised teaching and marking.

Projects can be designed generically enough around a theme or phenomenon that they can be simultaneously offered to different age groups with appropriate expectations for outcomes. This can save teacher workload.

Bookmarked
Richard, I love this point:

“There is no such thing as a typical day. Every student’s day is different and no two students have the same timetable.”

I worked at a school that went with a choice based program a few years ago. The problem with it was that it was as old as I was.

Although the students had choice, it was choice over what teacher’s were willing to offer. I guess that would be the next step.

I like the work Greg Miller is doing in this area.

Replied to Is your School an X or Why School? by Richard Wells (EDUWELLS)
Students and schools focussed on why they exist develop stronger engagement in all activities and this results in making achievement in what we do much easier.
I really enjoyed Sinek’s book.

One of the interesting points that I found was that ‘why’ is not necessarily something that you just sit around and decide. It involves culture and therefore action. In some respect it reminds me of trust. You cannot necessarily create ‘trust’, instead you put in place the conditions for trust to prosper. I think that the challenge we face is creating the conditions for why to prosper. I think that your book goes some way to doing this. However, I imagine that it will always be based on context and involve idiosyncrasies.

Replied to Let’s break 2 molds that hurt everyone’s wellbeing (EDUWELLS)
In 1980 the average Auckland house price was the same as ONE Auckland Teacher salary. In 2018, it is the equivalent of NINE Auckland teacher salaries.
I like your point Richard of looking at wellbeing from a systemic point-of-view. I just finished reading a report on teachers in West Virginia living from paycheck to paycheck. What stood out was the attempts to link bonuses with exercise. We want impact and effect sizes, but are happy to ignore equity because it is beyond our control.