Corny as it may sound, it was a major concept breakthrough for us as a group to work out our purpose and what we reacted to so wholeheartedly was the notion we could “share the love”. We decided our job would be to be the unblockers, the enablers and the ones who would be able to trigger thinking about personal and social capabilities. We did not think it was our job to tell people how to do it because teachers are professionals with a lot of experience and different ways of approaching their classes and students. We warmed to the notion that we could be facilitators of this and spent quite a long, animated, productive time thinking of all the ways we could spark insight into personal and social capability and whom we could target and how. We isolated our target groups, the resources which would be appropriate and the scaffolding we needed to enable ourselves and our group. We have reached the end of our school year being able to tick all the boxes on the personal and social capabilities ourselves! Great feeling. In fact, if I have time I may well get those capabilities out and chart what we have done to match them.
One of our TV current affairs programs, The Project featured a clip about Jihad Dib who had taken a western Sydney school and turned it right around. The clip takes about 3 minutes and in that time you can see how well Mr. Dib has put the Personal and Social Capabilities to work. You could have the assessment rubrics out and tick every box for him and you can look at this video and know this is what the Personal and Social Capability looks like in action. As Rita Pierson said in her TED talk – every kid needs a champion and the Personal and Social Capability offers us a way of championing students in a very comprehensive and life changing way.
The social capability is about recognising the worth of others and being able to work with them. It is also about being a good communicator and being able to notice the social setting you are in and its requirements. Schools should be diverse and vibrant. Teachers should be good communicators and be able to transfer those skills to their students by working in partnership with them. We do need opportunities and encouragement to grow so that we can blossom!