Author Archives: mwalker

Lesson Transitions

About 9 months ago I started working as a casual academic for Deakin University, Faculty of Education, in Victoria. Students are placed in schools for at least 80 days, depending upon their course. They work along students and experienced teachers … Continue reading

Posted in Deakin Teachers in training, Deakin University, Teaching, trainee teachers | Leave a comment

Painting a new school’s curriculum and pedagogy.

As an educator, and now consultant, it’s hard not to get excited when you are asked to support a newish school develop its curriculum and pedagogy.  In many ways, it’s like a starting a painting with a blank canvas, or … Continue reading

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Why have learning intentions without success criteria?

John, in this 9 min clip, puts the case for why we need to explain what we intend students to learn, why and how they might self assess success. It’s hard to defend the opposite. In this clip John’s work … Continue reading

Posted in Assessment, differentiation, Feedback, Instruction, professional learning, Teaching, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Is Dante’s Hell a view of adaptive challenges? If so, hold onto that moral compass.

I recently watched a TED talk by Dan Leahy – The Dance of Learning Meets the Adaptive Challenge. In the talk Dan uses Heifetz, Glashow and Linsky’s need for adaptive change which is about facing the unknown and having to learn new skills to … Continue reading

Posted in Data Wise Program, Harvard, Teaching | Leave a comment

Effective Lesson Planning: classroom systems and lesson sequencing

This is a follow up post number 2 on effective lesson planning. Now that we understand lessons should go differing lengths of time 20 – 40 minutes, what would that look like in one of the timetable blocks of 90-120 … Continue reading

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Effective Lesson Planning: length of lessons

Some of the questions, concerns and issues raised by trainee teachers so far include: constantly repeating instructions to students students forget what to do students either don’t finish the tasks in the time set or finish in the first 5 … Continue reading

Posted in Deakin University, Instruction, Monash University, teacher efficacy, Teaching, trainee teachers | Leave a comment

Working at Deakin University

One of the exciting opportunities that has presented itself this year is to work at Deakin University as a casual academic. What that means is that I work in the professional learning unit supporting trainee teachers in schools learn the … Continue reading

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Dirty Data!

Well I’m now officially retired as a school principal – no really! I’m sleeping well, planning holidays and of course playing more golf. But what about my mind – it’s not ready to give up as an educator. So I’m … Continue reading

Posted in Assessment, school, Teaching, Uncategorized, Video Clips | Leave a comment

Songs can hold our memories!

Certain songs or voices can bring many memories flooding back to us. It’s 1970 and the happy and even melancholic memories flood back to me when I hear Simon and Garfunkel sing their classics. Its been over 45 years since … Continue reading

Posted in Community, history, politics, Video Clips | Leave a comment

Are you Humpty Dumpty waiting for a fall?

Quite often Principal’s can feel like Humpty Dumpty “just waiting for the fall”. When you think of how many “clients” you serve (students, their parents and then the wider community) even a middle size school of 500 would add up … Continue reading

Posted in coaching, Leadership, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

features of a wise leader

I was recently going through my email and found this from a close Scottish colleague. THE TEN FEATURES OF A ‘WISE’ LEADER Holds unshakeable values which define their being; Translates their ‘way of thinking’ into the ‘way they do things’; … Continue reading

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Student Reports: a case for change

This is a copy of a post I wrote on my company’s website Well its November again and on the school calendar for teachers all over Australia is the preparation of the end of year student reports. Schools become stress … Continue reading

Posted in Accountability, Assessment | 1 Comment

Resources by themselves are not sufficient to improve language learning in Victorian or for that matter Australian schools?

Once again students learning another language hits the newspaper headlines: The trouble with languages in primary schools Time to mind our languages Interestingly it hits the headlines in the only state in Australia (Victoria) that mandates languages be taught in … Continue reading

Posted in Assessment, China, Chinese Language, curriculum, Sister School | 1 Comment

Why become a teacher? part two – my story

Some people can pinpoint a single incident or person that answers this question – for me I need to tell a story as I came to my moral purpose quite late. I went as a young 5-year-old to Corpus Christi, … Continue reading

Posted in reflections, school, teacher efficacy, Teaching | 2 Comments

Why aren’t us parents seeing any benefit in smaller class sizes?

I have just responded to this post by a parent: As a parent, the Bloomfield Public School system has sold smaller class sizes as part of their narrative. The experience of my two children has been a DECREASE in group … Continue reading

Posted in Instruction, Instructional Rounds, Leadership, parenting, professional learning, school structures, Teaching | 6 Comments