It was a big leap of faith for me to even apply, but I'm so glad I did. The past three and a half weeks, I've learned more about myself, my own teaching style, and the profession as a whole than I ever would have locked up in my own little classroom.
It's really made me think about how often teachers get an opportunity to watch each other. Those of us familiar with the MTBoS tend to feel more connected, because we read and watch what each others do with their students. I've learned though, that so many teachers DON'T spend time online connecting with peers. We're the rarity. MOST teachers instead learn of new ideas from their school based peers.
When I was in the classroom, I was constantly sharing ideas I had found. In fact, it was a completely normal thing for me to burst into a coworker's room during our common planning period, and to say something like, "Check out this amazing (fill in activity/idea/resource here)" on a near daily basis. I'm an idea gatherer.
I want other teachers to be able to experience that rush of inspiration that happens when you can see a new way to connect students with content. That's the feeling that keeps good teachers from feeling burned out (or at least, it does most of the time).
So I'll end with a few questions I'm pondering today:
- How can we, as teachers, show each other our classrooms in more tangible ways? How can we give each other a better picture of how a lesson went, how our students interacted with the material, or how our energy/style gave the lesson a certain flair that increased engagement and retention?
- As I've done hundreds of walkthroughs over the past (almost) month, I've noticed the significant impact that a teacher's questioning style has during a lesson (especially during direct instruction). How can we share this very subtle art with each other in order to improve?
- How can we, as the online-engaged, blog-reading, globally-connected teachers encourage others to reach out, and engage?