Open reviewing process
How do I sustain a loving, receptively responsive educational relationship with my pupils which will motivate them in their learning and encourage me in my teaching?
Hello. My name is Claire Formby and I am a Primary School teacher and middle leader in my school, working with 5, 6 and 7 year old children in Bath. I am using action research to improve my practice as an educator and would like to share my writing with others as part of an open review process.
I invite reviewers to send their comments and look forward to reading them.
Thanks for submitting your paper 'How do I sustain a loving, receptively responsive educational relationship with my pupils which will motivate them in their learning and encourage me in my teaching?' to EJOLTS.
Branko Bognor and Alison Gilliland have agreed to review your paper. I hope you will find this upcoming review process helpful.
Dear Claire, I’ve read your paper which you sent for publishing in EJOLTS. It is obvious that you like your job and that you are eager to create a safe and educational space in your classroom for any person and particularly for your pupils. This paper radiates with positive values, and I found many interesting reflections on your practice in it. The following are my favourite:
When I mull over this question I realize that thankfully I am easily encouraged by the children and that when I feel tired or discouraged they can swiftly restore me. Recently when I returned to the classroom after lunch, having been out of school for an afternoon then the following morning, I was touched by the children’s welcome, little hugs from some, one child full of news about a first visit to Beavers, another bursting to tell me about her birthday party at the weekend.
On another occasion recently I was given a scribbled picture by a little girl who was new to the school and had been very tearful in the mornings, finding it tough to leave friends in her previous school in London and move here. I had done my best to help, wiping her eyes, beginning to encourage friendships, praising her as much as possible, introducing her mum to other mums etc. and when she rather shyly thrust the picture below into my hand I knew she was over the worst. The picture shows me with her, both of us smiling, with the word “Happy” underneath. I think she will be fine and that encourages me.
You wrote: “I am using action research to improve my practice as an educator and would like to share my writing with others as part of an open review process” ( http://ejolts.net/moodle/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=46 ). I am wondering how you could arrange this paper to be in the form of action research account. Your account seems to me as reflections on your practice which is written for someone who understands well your contexts. It is an excellent starting point for a more scholarly paper which needs to be structured according principles for writing an action research report (see McNiff & Whitehead, 2009).
I talked with Jack Whitehead who is eager to help you in reorganising and resubmiting this account which could be an excellent contribution to EJOLTS. I hope you will find a time to edit your promising paper that people all over the world could enjoy in your warm and empathetic teaching experiences. In addition your cooperation with Jack Whitehead could be educational not only for you, but for many of us who deal with action research. I hope you could use this forum for your cooperation.
McNiff, J. & Whitehead, J. (2009). Doing and writing action research. Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, Singapore, Washington: SAGE.
My sincere apologies in taking so long to read your paper. I found it a lovely piece of very honest self reflection on your obvious 'more than warm confrotableness' with your class. I agree with Branko It has wonderful potential for development and inclusion on EJOLTS if you can rework it according to the principles of action research. I'm particluarly interested in your involvement of the children in planning the curriculum/their learining. I've often seen how allowing children more ownership of their learning can be hugely motivating for them and increases success. It could be that by involving them you are introducing an element of emotional attachment for them to their learning and this emotion helps drive their learning and their enjoyment of learning - perhaps something to consider.
I wish you the very best in re-working the paper, and I very much look forward to reading it.
I felt I must wirte to you with my warm congratulations on your paper. I'm not a teacher so I hope my comments are of relevance and of some help.
I see myself as a 'product' of primary teaching here In Tasmania durng the early 1960's. I wish you were my class teacher then!
As you have indicated those foundations in our early years are so vital. Many of us have grown up not realizing nor able to recognize why it is 'the way we are' and so in many cases what I term the opportunity for meaningful growth and flourishment and most of all recognition of 'possibility' are underdeveloped or worse simply missed.
You apprach sets te scene for meaningful life long learning in the broadest sense.
For me, your opening 'prelude',
"...I will ask myself what I have done that will influence them for better after they have gone. I will not therefore be as concerned with what they have learned, rather with how they have learned and how I may have supported and encouraged that learning and that child. "
Set the scene so beautifully....
Many thanks and warm regards,