Undertaking Deep Work to Open Up Professional Conversations

The study of influential figures past and present reveals a shared commitment to deep work. For example author J.K. Rowling tweeted, “This is the real me, but you won’t be hearing from me often I am afraid, as pen and paper is my priority at the moment”, prior to commencing her book, The Casual Vacancy. Two things; she cast aside the distraction of a shallow communication platform. Secondly the choice of pen and paper – not computer.

 

According to Cal Newport in his book Deep Work, is the ability to focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task.

Before a teacher can lead an open to learning conversation on their teaching practice we believe they need to have engaged successfully in deep work beforehand. It’s deep work the teacher undertakes that frees them from the tyranny of traditional evaluative appraisal systems. They do the intellectual and cognitive work rather than an appraiser.

It’s deep work that allows teachers to become self directed learners – confident professionals who individually and collectively plan, reflect, set challenging goals, monitor their progress, identify next steps in their learning and self modify. Deep work forms the preparation the teacher undertakes in order to lead an analytical, critical and challenging conversation on their impact as a teacher with insight, honesty and confidence.

Appraisal Connector has been designed specifically to support teachers to engage in deep work. It’s more than a storage system. For example Appraisal Connector provides:

  • A reservoir of vital teaching practices for teachers to evaluate themselves against;
  • Over 120 possible goals and/or inquiries for teachers to dig into;
  • A structure that moves teachers beyond superficial diarising to the deep work of critical journaling;
  • Multiple feedback portholes from students, colleagues and leaders to add depth to critical thinking.