One major way forward is for us to be freed to take opportunities for reflection, through private study, observing other practitioners in situ, collaborating with colleagues, interacting with others with more experience.

Michael Fullan wrote that ‘Alliances and partnerships are major vehicles for learning’. (
Teachers need mentors; someone to bounce ideas off, to support them when they feel stuck, to encourage when failing, to share joy when successful. Just like any learner, really.

We know that the best way for people to learn about new policies and innovations is through interaction with other people. It has become increasingly clear from various sources that we need professional learning communities in which teachers and leaders work together and focus on student learning. But they must be infused with high-quality curriculum materials and assessment information about student learning. (There are) three policy levers — assessment, curriculum, and teacher learning. … if those levers aren’t pulled together, schools can’t get very far.
Then we may spread positive deviance.

Those with the power need to work with, not against us, to harness our enthusiasm and – crucially – recognise our thirst for knowledge and continuous development. And allow us to take some risks with our teaching and our learning.