This is the third instalment in the governance as inquiry journey. In my last blog post I talked about our next steps, which included the board and staff meeting to co-construct a way forward. Here is what happened:
After a meet and greet over dinner, teachers and board members set to work on shaping up the numeracy review and the governance as inquiry model.
We split into three groups of mixed teachers and BOT and started grouping commonalities between board and teacher generated inquiry questions. When we had each decided on an overarching question we stopped to share our discussions. Next we moved on to the model and fleshing out each phase. Each group had five minutes on each phase to jot down what they thought each phase should encompass. Lastly each group had some time to design what they thought the working model should look like.
As we were working a question was raised around how the review model differed from teaching as inquiry. It is a critical question because if the model looks like teaching as inquiry then we are doing it wrong. This is still something we need to fine tune.
The data has been aggregated to share in order to finalise the inquiry question and how the model will look. Here are some pictures of the team at work and what they came up with on the night.
The highlight for me was that teachers that were not even in the numeracy team wanted to join in. The fact that they wanted to give up their time to work with this on us made me so incredibly happy – true authentic, autonomous collaboration to benefit our kids. As one board member put it “we didn’t meet tonight as BoT and teachers, we met as people focusing on our kids”
Our big challenge: We have review as inquiry, but do we have governance as inquiry? We need to make sure the board is reviewing it’s own policy and practices within the numeracy review context.
As part of the review we need be asking how the board’s existing practices and policy helps support the review area in question.
We shouldn’t be asking questions we know the answers to, we want to know what we don’t know. We want to dig deeper, put ourselves under the microscope and find out what is driving outcomes.
There was a lot of alignment on the night and wonderful contributions from teachers. I am grateful we have such a talented and dedicated team at Taupaki School.