A few days ago this tweet caught my eye and truly resonated with me:
Several years ago I embraced Co-operative Learning and after a slow start the realisation of the power of this methodology took hold. The day I read this tweet I was stuck at home waiting for an emergency engineer to fix my central heating system. Ordinarily I would not take time off for this but there was no-one else available. I emailed cover work in for my classes and kept the school updated as to my anticipated arrival time. For my S1s I knew my 2 S6 helpers would be in class offering in-class support and that there would be a learning assistant and a cover teacher. But you still worry – is the work accessible? Will they behave? Will they actually learn anything without me there (admittedly, this is teacher arrogance at its best). When I arrived I had to take time to pause. With @mrkempnz’s tweet from the morning still fresh in my mind I looked round my class to see every pupil engaged with the work, discussing the work, helping and supporting each other, calling the S6s or the learning assistant over when they couldn’t figure it out by themselves and I was filled with pride. Apparently, I have taught them very well. All the attributes and the ethos I had been working to instill, the roles and responsibilities, the management of the classroom by the pupils were all there to be plainly seen. I wasn’t needed at all. My learners had come to school to learn, not to watch their teacher work, and they did a great job at it too.