Fighting spirit?

Cross country runnersYesterday I went to watch my son run in the Lincolnshire Cross Country Championships in a cold and muddy field near to Lincoln.

In several of the races there were some incredibly talented runners who won by a significant distance followed a pack of chasing athletes in their wake. In several of the races there were runners who came in significantly behind who earned points for their team and were applauded in as rapturously as the others.

In one of the age groups the boys set off ten minutes before the girls and we ended up with the sight of one the back markers in the boys slowly making his way up to the finishing line only to hear the ominous footsteps of the lead girl coming behind him.

The boy received shouts of encouragement from his club and discovered a superb kick so that we ended up with the wonderful sight of the only close run in on the day between the two of them. I loved the fact that he was determined not to be beaten and received huge shouts of encouragement as he sprinted up the finishing rise next to the girl just pipping her at the post as she celebrated her victory.

I loved his spirit and the way that he received so much so support but he also made me think of teachers taking ICT on board. How often do we have teachers who are only a step ahead of the children? I thought that the boy was analogous of many teachers who are not up to speed with ICT but wonder how many of them then show the spirit of this young man when they hear the ICT footsteps of the children.

Several years ago whilst I was addressing an ICT conference, at a time when there was much discussion of the tests taken by ITT students to gain QTS, I questioned how many people thought that they would pass the ICT test. In the end about 60% of the room put their hands up to some amusement – I then endeared myself to the audience by enquiring whether they were self assessing as failing to meet competency!!! Although in a fairly safe environment and quickly smoothed over it did make me question why it is acceptable (and at times a source of amusement) for teachers to be unable to use technology to a sufficient standard to support the children.

My experience at the running did also make me think of the power of support for the young man mentioned and how I use my Personal Learning Network in the same way. How we create this feeling for other teachers is the $64,000 question but I did see a fantastic idea in this blog by Henrietta Miller, a Year 5 teacher from Sydney, who held a ‘techie brekkie’ for her colleagues this week. This seems to be such a lovely way of sharing new technologies!

I will post later in the week about some ideas for supporting colleagues as an extension to this post.

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