Friday, April 15, 2016

Are we as open to new learning as we think we are?

I'm spending a few days in Sydney before conducting professional development elsewhere in Australia. Last night, I had the privilege of meeting a former "Twitter-only" friend in person for drinks and dinner. The wine flowed, and so did provocative conversation. In reflecting upon my lovely evening, I've come to wonder - as educators, do we really believe in lifelong learning? Do we model that in our words and deeds?

Think about it. I flew halfway around the world and met up with a person I'd never laid eyes on before. And we had so much to share! It took me an hour or more to wind down when I returned to my hotel because I was so stimulated by all the ideas that she offered - plus the ones we co-created. Obviously she and I are both very committed to the idea that teachers need to learn and grow throughout their careers. But I began to wonder.... what do teachers do to move their own learning forward?

I know more than one teacher who takes pride in not reading professional books. Other teachers claim that they don't grade papers or plan lessons at home. These teachers are doing a disservice to the profession I both love and revere. Why is it okay to be an educator and say that you don't put in extra time to learn, reflect, and grow?

I went kicking and screaming into Twitter. I hate it when I have to upgrade a phone or laptop. Am I an old dog who finds it hard to learn new tricks? Absolutely. But to not learn new tricks would make me a fraud. I'm a teacher. I need to learn something new every day.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

The late Pat Conroy was accurate when he said, “The great teachers fill you up with hope and shower you with a thousand reasons to embrace all aspects of life." In this blog, I strive to honor and inspire my fellow educators.