The weather was bad today...the wind howled and the rain fell-in-buckets! Irene and I arrived at the venue this morning with concern. 140 persons registered for the event...how many would brave the elements? It didn't take us long to find out... the weather couldn't hold the attendees back. 112 arrived, well layered with winter clothing. And full of expectation.
Irene spent a few minutes explaining the rationale for the event and unpacked the logistics...12 presentations were on offer...attendees could attend 6 per delegate. Some schools had quite a few members of staff attending...they quickly caucused and decided who would go where, then exited the plenary and headed in the direction of the session venues.
The facilitators carried a brief to show teachers how to respond to learner diversity challenges in the learning and teaching environment. The emphasis is on practical tips! Bluntly stated - empower our colleagues to manage their classrooms better when faced with learners who may have barriers.
The 1st two sessions fly by, so does tea and the remaining four sessions.
During the feedback session, I asked the delegates to use their smartphones to provide us with electronic feedback. 24 persons get it done via cellphones...I celebrated. It was 2400% more than I expected. I remind the many that couldn't (for various reasons) manage the task, that a group of primary school kids managed to do this within seconds of my guidance...the irony is not lost on the audience...they need an individualized learning plan (ILP) to master their phones!
Lunch signaled the end of the day. With everyone eating, I watched the energy and conversation levels. It's heartwarming! Before we head home, Joan took the time to share her personal insights with me..."we need time for preparatory work...CAPS doesn't allow for the space to do this. We can turn our kids if we are given some space to do this!"
I smiled...with passionate educators like Joan, we will not fail our children!
Suddenly the weather never seemed a factor...the opportunity to share a space AND ideas with peers mattered...it always matters!