What has been even more amazing is both the examples of the examples most recently observed were "beginning" teachers, one a "first year", the other "second year", both teachers part of the excellent TeachFirst teacher training programme. Please note that the beginning is in speech marks deliberately as although both women are new to the teaching profession, both individuals were strong achievers outside the classroom and with a wealth of learning and leadership experience.
The first example of running over walking in the classroom was our new Te Reo Maori teacher Nyra Marshall testing her Year 9 students' language capabilities. I happened to be walking past her classroom and unfortunately for Miss, the windows in her classroom were wide-open and yet not a student was out of their chairs nor could a sound be heard. Now normally as a fan of "learning noise", I would be really concerned about the dramatic tranquillity of a learning space but there was something going that needed further further inquisition on my part. Step forward Detective or should I say Inspector (that's better) Kelly.
Entering the classroom and trying not to distract the Year 9 students (too much!), I immediately questioned Nyra about what on earth was going on. She politely informed me that she was testing her Year 9 students' Te Reo understandings via a self-designed Google Form.
What impressed was just not the cool way of engaging the students in a culturally responsive manner that had legitimate assessment rigour but the awesome faith that Miss had in her students in using digital technologies. This was a classic example of learning digital indirectly, in my opinion the best way to do so.
At the end of her presentation, Nyra was overwhelmed by the support and expressions of admiration and requests for support! Remember that this is a first year teacher but one who guides her students with her head and her heart. In all honesty, there is no way I would've ever have done something so cool in my first year of teaching or probably second or even third.
Nyra's successful innovating reinforced to me that the SAMR model may be an effective transitioning reference for standardised pedagogical progressions, sometimes it is better and makes more sense to dive straight into the deep end. This way, you're guaranteed to "get wet" and be first to the treasure. Furthermore, what I observed highlighted to me that while tradition has its place, ignorance can be bliss and free us of historical occurrences that have no authentic or relevance to the classroom and students of today or tomorrow.
Ka pai Nyra, kia kaha!