The age of agility

Posted 22 October 2021 1:40pm

As a pre-service music teacher in what feels like a lifetime ago, one of the things my classmates and I always strived to demonstrate was our ability to logically sequence student learning. This was something we shared with friends across all academic disciplines, and it was an enriching experience to find new and powerful teaching techniques to add to our growing repertoire.

In music, we focused on the Kodaly approach, where the preparation phase of introducing a new element is easily 75 per cent of the teaching. Different aspects of a concept are revealed and reinforced slowly and in small steps before the new element is made conscious, and then practiced, in as many ways as the teacher can craft. It’s a thorough, reassuring approach, and students develop confidence and thrive through the familiar routine.

The ‘familiar’ and ‘routine’ are things we all find comfort in, however none of us would be alone in feeling that the only consistency we’ve been able to rely on for the past two years is inconsistency. As the adults in the equation - teachers, the School, parents, government and health leaders - we have always been able to predict with a reasonable amount of certainty what will happen next, and have structured our lives so that the youth in our community know certainty and boundaries; a clear sense of direction that supports their mental, physical and emotional growth.

The challenges we’ve all faced over the past two years have gifted us a wonderful opportunity to develop our agility, and that ability to respond, refine, and reinvent – without the benefit and security of a longer term vision, in a situation that is beyond our control – is something we should pause and reflect on. We have adapted. We have become more agile. We have developed grit.

As we enter the second half of Term 4 and the end of year is in sight, we can be proud to say we are thriving in the age of agility.

 

Ms Ellena Papas

Executive Director (Operations)