Last Friday, during the In-School Education (ISE) day, teachers were busy participating in the inaugural WeLearn Conference. Hosted by the NIST Learning Innovation Coaches, the intention for the day was to tap into the skills, talents, and knowledge that our teachers possess.
The day began with two excellent keynote addresses. The first, by Year 13 student Ainsley Vanzyl, spoke about the joys and challenges of taking a year off to travel and learn with her family. Her talk, and workshop presentation afterwards, definitely provided food for thought as we consider NIST’s Vision of providing individualised and authentic learning pathways for future students. The second keynote was given by Learning Innovation Coach Ben Sheridan. The theme of his talk addressed how best to use professional capital; a phrase coined in the book by Andy Hargreaves and Michael Fullan. Entitled, ‘Together We Are Better’, Ben spoke to how Professional Capital (the multiplier effect of Human Capital x Social Capital x Decisional Capital) helped in his decision to get just the right tattoo. It was a great send off for the day as teachers then attended sessions hosted by their peers to improve their professional capital.
Over 50 sessions were hosted throughout the day. The topics of the sessions included everything from exploring robotics to hosting effective meetings to brain science to using images to take notes. Wellness sessions concluded the day, allowing teachers to choose how to unwind. Participants could choose to be actively engaged in a sport, learning about new books, being mindful in a yoga session, or cooking food for dinner. Overall, this rejuvenating conference confirmed that sometimes our best resources are ourselves.