Friday, November 12, 2010

Making Connections

I've decided to start this blog to help me while I figure out inquiry in the classroom. At the age of 43, I feel like I'm finally working some things out about life: what kind of parent I am and what kind of teacher I am.

I'm certainly not writing this because I have any answers. I'm writing because I have questions. Maybe no one but me will read this, but I've realized that I just need to make a start and commit myself to figuring out what real inquiry is and how I am going to use it in my life and teaching.

This whole process of figuring out inquiry is having a profound effect on my life. I'm actually having trouble sleeping because my brain is spinning with possibilities. Okay, it also doesn't help that my husband snores and my 5-year-old shares our bed most nights. But those things aren't new, so I will blame inquiry instead.

I will also blame Ken Robinson whose book, The Element, I'm listening to on my iPod. I usually listen to books to help me sleep, but this one is keeping me awake. I came upon Ken Robinson on TED Talks many months ago and was intrigued by what he had to say, but I didn't quite make the connection to my job as an Elementary school teacher-librarian or to my life. I'm sure it must have been in Jamie McKenzie's workshop last year that I learned about Ken Robinson and TED Talks. Again, I knew what Jamie was telling me in the workshop was vital, but I jut wasn't connecting it all together.

I think what finally brought things together for me was an IB workshop in Hong Kong in October that was run by Gary Green and Yvonne Barrett. I have a lot of respect for librarians, but I've realised I'm not one. Well, I am, but I'm not the kind of librarian that may come to mind for most people. I am not anal about cataloguing; I do not get mad when students "mess up the shelves"; I do not really care if teachers keep books longer than they are supposed to; I don't even care if students damage a book (as long as they pay for it!). I'm a teacher first, and I've been struggling for the last two years to bring that to the forefront of my job. Gary and Yvonne helped me to realize that my job is about what interests me: inquiry!

Time to stop. My youngest has had enough of me sitting around typing!


  1. Hi Eileen,

    I've been enjoying your posts and wondering what educational life's like in Singapore. (Years ago, I passed up a post at the Brit school in Hong Kong - but that's another story).

    I read your Making Connections post and thought you might like to take a look at my reflective model for teachers and students - might be of use to you in your quest! "A Taxonomy of Reflection: Critical Thinking For Students, Teachers, and Principals"

    Best of luck ~ Peter

  2. Hi Peter,

    Thanks for the link. I will have a look. I can use all the help I can get! I'm actually not in Singapore, but Suzhou, Jiangsu, China. My school is owned by a joint China-Singapore group. I've visited Singapore, and right now I'm missing the warm weather!

    I've had a look at quite a few of your tweets and posts. Really appreciate everything you share.