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Spotlight on Learning: Tarzan Teachers

28 September 2017

"In learning you will teach and in teaching you will learn" - Phil Collins

  • Tarzan Teachers

Teachers learning as they teach, teaching as they learn and most importantly learning from one another. This happened on Tuesday at 3pm when members of the secondary teaching team worked collaboratively in the first of this year’s professional learning sessions – it triggered a strange memory recall, hidden deep within my brain, “in learning you will teach and in teaching you will learn”. By the time I returned home that evening, I still couldn’t remember where I had first heard the phrase – it was bugging me. Google gave me the answer, as it does to most things – Disney’s Tarzan.

As an 8-year-old boy, Tarzan’s marooned home in equatorial Africa was a pleasant juxtaposition to my life as a primary school pupil in the suburban West Midlands, UK – that’s probably why I eventually wore out the VHS tape of this Disney classic – now that was a sad day. Before I veer off on a weird tangent of describing my new term of ‘Tarzan teachers’ or discussing Edgar Rice Burrough’s controversial plotlines of race and imperialism, I’ll get back to the point.

Tuesday’s professional learning session was the first of ten scheduled for this academic year. During these sessions, led and facilitated by BIS HCMC colleagues, your children’s teachers will be engaged in professional learning that is meaningful and has an impact in the classroom. Great news for your children, whose teachers will be best informed in areas such as higher order thinking skills, learning technologies and ESL. Great news for our BIS teachers who are engaged in a collaborative professional learning community that embraces the fact that as teachers we never stop learning and that we learn best from one another.

Maybe my neologism of ‘Tarzan teachers’ will get off the ground; somehow, I doubt it. However, one thing is for sure – the BIS professional learning community is vibrant. Your children’s teachers are developing their ‘craft’ and constantly striving to be their best in an energetic and collaborative teaching environment. I’ll never be Tarzan (several failed years in the gym prove that), but maybe I can become a Tarzan teacher?

A huge thanks to Matthew Lambert, Robert Brownrigg, Claire Easter, Greg Roberts, Peter Cowen and Rosie Walsh for their support in facilitating the Tuesday professional learning sessions.

Lee Falconer, Assistant Head Teacher, An Phu Secondary