Having time together to reflect and think about how we teach, how we build learning relationships with our students, and how we can be more effective is a necessary professional activity in any school.
Nathan Wallis explained how our brains work, with examples that we could all recognise in our own behaviour, our students and our own children. Nathan is expert in applying what scientists know about brain function to the education and NZ setting. Why do students struggle to pay attention? What's happening in a young man's brain during adolescence*? What can we do at school to maximise the chances that our students are ready and willing to learn? All staff attended, and conversations continue amongst staff and in Faculties based on the examples and insights that we heard.
We thank the Board of Trustees for allocating special funding to book such a high quality expert. If you get a chance as parents to hear Nathan Wallis, he comes highly recommended by us.
*Well, it's tough to hear but here it is - During adolescence, part of the teenage brain "shuts for renovations". This is the part of the brain responsible for controlling mood, for understanding consequences and for thinking about others. Of course, that doesn't mean young folk can't take responsibility for those things, but it does seem to get a little harder as a teen and they may need a bit more help. The good news is that, once reopened, they're well on their way to exercising a more adult approach.