Staff from across Australia attended an exclusive presentation with inspirational educationalist Sir John Jones. Over 150 staff, including our New Zealand colleagues, were in attendance.
Sir John’s book, the Magic Weaver, has been one of the most significant new contributions to teaching and learning practice globally. In Sir John’s magic weaver analogy, if the teacher understands the qualities (thread) of the student and recognises the significant beauty of each of their talents, they can use these threads to weave some magic in a child’s life each day. Each day the student (carpet) has another piece of magic woven into their life, and different ‘weavers’ add to this picture. As the days and years pass, the picture becomes clearer, the colours become brighter and the student can see the progress as the picture on the carpet grows.
Feedback on the event included how much it reinforced the power teachers have to inspire young lives. Not only was he a wonderful speaker with many amusing anecdotes and stories to make you weep, he centred his day round examples of inspirational people – and their ability to weave magic in education and learning. There were so many great ideas and it was an important reminder that an emotional connection to learning is as valuable as getting the rules and the content ‘right’.
Sir John's encouragement to us is around developing strong connections with students. "Students may not remember what we made them learn, but they will remember how we made them feel ... great teachers make a difference. They provide opportunity, passion and give time to learners. Great teachers are dream builders not dream stealers."
We look forward to dream building and magic weaving as we continue our great learning journey.