Teachers are Learners
Every parent knows the importance of a good teacher. You don’t need to be told that a child in the class of a good teacher can learn up to four times as much as if they were in the class of a poor teacher, or twice as much as if they were in the class of an average teacher.
Children who are behind their peers, or are not ‘meeting expectations’ or ‘achieving standards’, are able to achieve above average progress when they have a good teacher.
Children who achieve well in primary school are more likely to achieve highly in high school and consequently will also be more likely to go on to tertiary education. In general, people who have a tertiary education earn more money and live longer healthier lives. Of course money and a long life won’t necessarily make you happy, but they are the things that give people the ability to do what they want to do. In the pursuit of happiness, a good education is a great start.
To get a great education, teachers are important. Obviously.
The challenge for school leaders is to ensure that all teachers in the school are not just ‘ok’ or even ‘average’, but are really good at teaching. We need our teachers to be experts at what they do. It is essential that schools support teachers to engage in ongoing learning, as that’s how they ensure their students receive quality teaching and achieve at their best.
Ridgway children need to have quality teaching from expert teachers.
Actually our Ridgway children are lucky to have excellent teachers who work hard and continually seek to improve what they do. Ridgway teachers are motivated to learn more about how to teach even better. They are involved in a range of ongoing professional learning and development to help them maintain and increase their level of expertise. Every week they spend time in professional learning meetings. Often they need to do extra study in their own time. Sometimes they may be out of class for a day while they attend a course or a workshop. This year we have become a Positive Behaviour for Learning (PB4L) school which brings with it a requirement to undertake a significant amount of training and learning. PB4L is not the only learning that our teachers are doing, all are involved in their own inquiries into improving their practice and all take up opportunities to develop their skills in a range of courses and workshops. The professional learning and development that our teachers are doing makes a difference for our children. The learning that our teachers do ensures that our children learn better and achieve more.
Good teachers are learners, and when schools establish a culture where continuous improvement is ongoing, then children benefit. Obviously, this is a good thing, and that’s what we are aiming for at Ridgway.