I read an article entitled Communities of Practice for Professional Development by Margie Carter (2009) before becoming a facilitator for the ORA Conference back in February, and its message has stayed with me ever since.
Here are some of the key points made by Carter (2009):
"I carry a strong belief that we have to educate and care for teachers in a manner consistent with how we want them to treat children" (p. 20).
"I believe a primary goal for our professional development work should be developing teachers' confidence, voice, and integrity" (p. 24).
"For a group of people to truly function as a learning community, they need to feel physically and emotionally comfortable so that they can take risks and work through the disequilibrium that often accompanies new learning" (p. 22).
"Even small changes in the environment and attention to details can create an experience of being cared for. Adding some natural items, some tabletop or floor lamps and attractive cloth demonstrates the value of setting up an environment that supports learning" (p. 22-23).
"Many times the experience of a focused institute can be thought-provoking and overwhelming mentally, theoretically, and spiritually. While the leaders and facilitators are ensuring that the participants are engaged and stepping out to take a risk in their own learning, it is important to have a physical environment that is nourishing" (p. 22).
|Julie Ham (my lovely D.E.C.E.) helping to set up the|
environment for our Great Beginnings course.
I hope that the physical environment during Great Beginnings was a cozy thinking space and supported our adult learners to reflect, relax, or rejuvenate their mind, body, and soul! (Carter, 2009, p. 22).