becoming new and improved

11 Feb

what would most teachers answer if you asked them the following 2 questions?
1) do you want to become a better teacher?
2) what professional learning experiences would help make you a better teacher?
i would imagine the answer to number 1 would nearly always be “yes” but i would be interested to hear what the answer to number 2 would be. the question is a bit loaded though, did you notice? it implies that professional learning experiences is what will make you a better teacher…because it will. if the question was simply “what” than my guess is i would get answers like ‘time’. since the questions implies that professional learning is the tool, it asks the respondent to think is a specific way about their experiences with professional learning, and depending on what their experiences have been to this point would certianly influence their answer. perhaps it is a question worth asking, and i’m guessing the answers might not be readily available, it might be one of those “i’ll know it when i see it” type of things.


Posted by on February 11, 2009 in Uncategorized


3 responses to “becoming new and improved

  1. htate

    February 11, 2009 at 4:06 pm

    I believe all teachers want to improve but it involves follow up or time allotment in practical settings. I admit that I have attended wonderful trainings and had full intentions to start implementation the next day, and then the “next day” arrives. Next day starts with a fight in the hallway I have to break up, a fire drill in the middle of a test, my planning period taken up for ANOTHER meeting, and all of a sudden, all of my good intentions are put on the back burner and those wonderful things I have learned are put on the shelf, along with the training binder I received. Like Stephen Sawchunk stated in the article “Teachers’ Staff Training Deemed Fragmented”, “We still see teachers engage in really short one and two day workshops rather than ongoing, sustained support that we now have evidence changes practices and increases student achievement.” A new push towards improving the quality of teaching through coaching, a longer duration of training, and continual conversations through blogging or follow ups is the key for successful professional learning. Because as you said, the answer to your number one question will always be yes. The problem is providing effective professional development.

  2. D Greenberg

    February 12, 2009 at 12:12 am

    heather – how very ‘half full’ of you to believe that all teachers want to improve. we hear the ‘i was too busy’ lines quite a bit but i don’t think that will ever stop a good teacher from doing what is right. like in any profession, teaching is ripe with excuses for why a teacher didn’t do something, i think it takes an exception teacher to teach in the way they know is best despite all the menusha.

  3. htate

    February 12, 2009 at 2:30 pm

    You know, after reading Outliers and learing about the 10,000 hour rule, mayber you are right.


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