It’s not all too hard for educators to get their heads around the concept of learner agency. To raise achievement we need learners to be engaged. To raise independence we need learners to be capable of managing their learning journey. To do these things we need learner agency.
But what about teacher agency? Teachers want to be engaged, teachers want to be independent. Is that important too? You bet ya, it is! To have self motivated teachers who focus their time and energy on doing the best for their learners we need teacher agency.
This means teachers being capable of making decisions for their learners, their teaching programme and their professional development. Hell, I would like to think most of us are capable of that. After all we managed to get through a teaching degree/diploma and can successfully keep a class of kids alive on the daily.
So how do we improve and enhance teacher agency? Kate Horton has lent us her expertise around all things teacher agency. She shares with freedom ed members why it’s important, what you need to know, and provides 6 key ideas to improve your agency. One of my favourite parts of the conversation with Kate is about fun. Yup, fun. She unpacks the fish philosophy for us which is all about choosing to have fun in our jobs.
Did you know that fun is quite essential to learning? That means it’s quite essential to teaching. Not only are we teaching but we are also learners ourselves so that makes fun even more essential. When was the last time you had fun with your learners? Fun with your colleagues?
Remember that uncontrollable laughter you get from time to time or the feeling when you’ve had a really great time doing something that you just can’t wipe the smile off of dial. Let’s do those things at school. Ever had a teacher only day you were pleasantly surprised by because it was actually fun? Experienced a learner who started singing and dancing when you cranked out a tune? These moments raise engagement, raise achievement and make school a place of enjoyment for all.
Making the decision to have fun is up to you. You get to have agency over the enjoyment you have at work, you get to choose where and how you bring fun into your daily life. Don’t wait for someone to make things fun, be that someone!
Be a dork (is that even still a saying??). Dance, sing, play and joke around. Don’t stop at just your class either. Pass on the contagious smile and laughter to colleagues in the staff room, at meetings and during professional learning. Think about everything you do in a work day and how you can make each one of those tasks just a little bit more fun.
Here at freedom ed we are all about practical ideas so have put together a bunch of fun ideas for you to use in your classroom and with staff. Download, print and plaster all over your school.
When you are ready for even more teacher agency you can find Kate’s other 5 key ideas and a great video chat inside our freedom ed membership.