Monday, February 29, 2016

Inquiry Begets Inquiry

"Your presentation made me not want to gouge my eyes out."

I joked that this paraphrased ringing endorsement would be included on my next ALP. On Friday, February 26, 2016 I had the great pleasure of presenting a session on Inquiry Based Learning at the West Region 10 Family of School Mentor and Mentee Professional Learning Day. I was there thanks to my friend and fellow Mentor AQ Course alumni Marianne Bartkiw, who had been asked to share her experiences with inquiry by her vice-principal. I was so grateful to be included in this experience, especially because teacher-librarians can be important resources to implementing inquiry and sometimes TLs are left out of the conversation.

This was the first time that Marianne and I had given a workshop together so we spent a lot of time beforehand planning and plotting. The preparation paid off well. What I am most proud of from our talk was how we tried to honour the expertise that already existed in the room and make it an interactive experience.

Marianne and I structured the afternoon like a 3-Part Math lesson, with Minds On, Action, and Consolidation sections. We made a conscientious effort not to talk at the audience and to provide opportunities for them to share in a variety of ways and with different groups.

Gallery Walk as part of Knowledge Building Circle

Posting the "challenges" and "challenge busters" from Snowball

Happy to see libraries listed as part of the solution
Giving workshops to fellow teachers should be a two-way learning street, and this was the case at this session. Talking with the participants during and after the presentation led me to questions I want to answer, and resources that will help me answer my new questions. I am sorry I did not write down the names of all the people I spoke to that advanced my thinking, but at the risk of forgetting to mention folks, I thank:

  • Nick, for getting me to wonder "How can we spread the news of useful documents like Together for Learning and Leading Learning beyond the teacher-librarian world, especially in places where school library professionals are non-existent or ineffective?"
  • Brian (or Ryan?) who shared the YouTube channel vsauce as a entertaining and educational way to encourage inquiry
  • Sophia (or Sonya?) who reminded me about the wonderful website that is Wonderopolis
I also need to extensively thank Marianne. She took care of the technology - and I never knew how useful the iPad was for presentation mode! Seeing the slides, notes, and timer on a separate screen was very handy for keeping us on track. She handled all the supplies, from the chart papers to the handouts. She advocated for me to attend the entire day, so that I was able to hear the morning session on Mindfulness. She captured the learning by taking photos during the workshop, giving me evidence to share. She let me be an equal part of the planning and delivering, despite the fact that I'm not part of their Family of Schools group. Thank you, Marianne! We'll both be at the TDSB Beginning Teachers Conference on March 4-5, 2016 and I hope we get the opportunity to work together again. 

No comments:

Post a Comment