Sunday, June 21, 2015

The Pit

My Teacher Inquiry this year is around getting to grips with SOLO Taxonomy. I was a bit sceptical about the whole SOLO thing, then I met Pam Hook when she came in to do some PD with us at the beginning of the year.  I was won over, such a cool person. Straight forward in her approach, passionate about her subject and a great teller of hilarious stories. 
I could have quietly explored SOLO but Oh No! Big mouth here decided to announce it as my Teacher Inquiry. And so, here I am in the pit. 
The photo above is an example of the work done by my colleague Reubina Irshad. It's a great example of SOLO in action. For me this is what awaits me at the top of the pit in the glorious daylight. The trouble for me is that I want to be an expert now. Don't get me wrong, I love learning, but after a while I hate the having to ask questions and look like an idiot part.
The Pit idea, I think, is wonderful. To know that being in a pit is part of a process and that it's ok to struggle, is a relief. I read an Edmodo post from a middle school child who talked about their teacher putting them in the pit with a particular maths concept. She commented on how it was hard but that she persevered and was now doing much better with it.
I think I would have liked that idea when I was at Primary School. I mean sure we heard a lot about a Pit - it was a Catholic school after all. But our pit had a lot of fire at the bottom and there was a creepy guy leaping around with a pitchfork. Also we were told that once you went in there was no way out.
While being in the Pit (that's Learning Pit rather than Hell) is not much fun for me, I think I'm now at the multistructural stage and I've found the ladder. It's a long way up but I can see Virginia Kung waving at me from the top so I better keep going.

The Learning Challenge with James Nottingham from Challenging Learning on Vimeo.


  1. Andrea, I ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ your writing. I woke up at that horrible time where its too hard to go back to sleep but I know that soon the alarm will ring. So this piece has just made my morning, my day, my week. I have been watching your progress with SOLO and you are moving very quickly with the process because you reflect with a SOLO mindset. I also know that you are continually sharing your students learning with not just your walls but with the whole world. Sharing both your own learning and your children's learning immediately is extended abstract thinking. My HUGE challenge is I love how you think and how you get your children thinking, that I want to read your reflections and visit your class every day to check out the amazing learning happening in your pit too.

  2. Thanks Sonya, it's lovely to have your encouragement. The Pit is never so dark and scary when there is someone cheering you on.