This week we sent out the second issue of the Progressive Educators Network.
This issue, Ray Trotter (principal of Wooranna Park Pubic School) challenges us to imagine what a school build by Walt Disney would be like. We venture into the arena with Bianca Hewes and her immersive creative writing project, based on The Hunger Games. And we review Real Talk for Real Teachers, the latest book by award-winning US educator Rafe Esquith.
BIANCA’S HUNGER GAMES
Bianca Hewes, Manly Selective Campus
It’s amazing how hard students will work to stay alive.
It was third term, and Bianca Hewes was to be seconded out of the classroom for two weeks. Rather than simply hand over responsibility for her Year 10 extension English class to a substitute, she used digital technology to allow her to continue engaging with the class, remotely and outside of school hours. Inspired by conversations with several colleagues, she created an intensive two-week creative writing project around that year’s hot ‘young adult’ cultural property – The Hunger Games.
It seems that the threat of death does wonders for honing one’s creative writing skills, as Bianca discovered.
WHAT WOULD A SCHOOL BUILT BY WALT DISNEY LOOK LIKE?
Ray Trotter, Principal at Wooranna Park Public School
As principal of Wooranna Park Primary School for thirty years I have had three of my six grandchildren attend my school. Since the early 1980’s I have been a firm believer in the need for wide spread changes to how we educate our students.
Traditionally schools, despite their core purpose, have been places built to service the needs of teachers, rather than learners. They are places where we “pour” knowledge into students, rather than excite their appetite for learning and where their achievements are graded and compared, rather than celebrated.
I have become intrigued by the thought of what a school built by Walt Disney would look like! The more I toss this over in my mind, the more I believe that our profession certainly needs a creative genius of his statue to build a school for the 21st Century – someone whose imagination could build a school that would light the fire of learning in the minds of our students and usher in a paradigm shift in education.
REAL TALK FOR REAL TEACHERS: ADVICE FOR TEACHERS FROM ROOKIES TO VETERANS
Written by Rafe Esquith.
In Real Talk for Real Teachers we are lucky enough to hear the voice of someone at the peak of their profession. With thirty years of classroom teaching under his belt, Rafe Esquith has built on his passion and dedication to hone his philosophy and techniques. He has also endured the many ‘slings and arrows’ or working within the US education bureaucracy, and is not afraid to tell it like he sees it.
The result is one of the most powerful books written about the profession of classroom teaching in many years.