Peeling onions is an uncomfortable task, it seriously hurts and often makes me cry. However, it is essential in order to get to the heart of the vegetable and get the best out of it. Yes, we could just pop the whole onion (skin and all) into our stew, but will the flavours be released to its fullest?
I use this analogy to talk about peeling back the layers of misconception which is essential in order for progress to be made. We could carry on regardless of confusion. Artists could ‘do their thing’ and teachers ‘do theirs’, but we need this to be a project where we are clearly on the same path and trajectory. A project where teachers and artists are working not just alongside each other but are clearly working together. Planning, teaching, learning from and with each other.
Key elements to making planning successful:
- Listen to each other.
- Be honest if you don’t understand.
- Ask questions.
- Be willing to learn.
- Be prepared to put effort in.
- Don’t rely on the skill of others – this is your chance to learn and try something new.
- Be prepared to join in (dress appropriately – bare feet, clothing you can move comfortably in – you may find yourself on the floor for drama and dance)
- Don’t get hung up on ‘what we usually do’ this is a chance to take a risk and try something new.
- Who’s the expert? Be prepared to learn from each other. Both artist and teacher needs to be flexible and be prepared to let go.
- Team plan in order to team teach.
- Remind yourself that this is more than a 6 week /part of the whole project – this could change the way you teach in the future.
- Don’t lock or limit the learning to one hour a week – how could you use these skills in other subject areas?
Keep reminding yourself about the focus of the project. Teacher Development
The purpose of the Teacher Development Fund is to support delivery of effective arts-based teaching and learning opportunities in the primary classroom, and to embed learning through the arts in the curriculum. It aims to do this through supporting teachers and school leaders to develop the necessary skills, knowledge, confidence and experience. Paul Hamlyn Foundation