Wow. That sounds a little dry as a title :) I'll try not to be too boring.
Queensland Education has introduced the Developing Performance Framework, which aims to (to quote) "provide all employees of Education Queensland with a process supported by tools and resources that will assist all employees to develop their performance." In our school this means working in small groups with 'facilitators' to develop an understanding of what our job entails, what we need more work in, what professional development we might need and where our future career aspirations lie.
It's been put together with all good intentions - they really want us to be investigating professional development which will assist our learning. But . . . well we had our first meeting last week in our small groups and it kind of bombed.
There are a number of reasons for this - it was a Monday afternoon, just two weeks from holidays and we're all exhausted, could be one. But after a week, I realise that this way of working - sitting in a small office completing a table and talking about 'where we need to improve' - is at complete odds with the work I already do.
Since I've started this blog I've really had my eyes opened to the ways we can use the internet to facilitate our learning. We have total control on here - we undertake our own reflection (with assistance of the people we come across and the questions they ask), we follow the blogs which cover topics which interest us, we follow the links they post to videos and articles and presentations and other websites. There is a world of expertise here, not just the skills we can find in a small group. Furthermore, this is a safe place to admit that you struggle with something, or that you want to learn more about something else.
Since I've been blogging, I've learned about books and ideas I would never come across from the safety of the school. I've explored and questioned ideas which just don't come up, even in the professional reading I undertook. I've discovered that I can get great ideas from a band teacher in the USA or a early literacy blog in Australia. I'm communicating with brilliant minds and loving it.
So, it's no wonder that the Developing Performance Framework felt tired and sluggish - why are we containing ourselves to a small room when there's the whole world out there!