Saturday, August 21, 2010


This post, Unlearning Teaching, from Will Richardson (@willrich45) got me thinking this morning.  It talks about teachers as co-learners and co-creators with their students.   It talks about the fact that teachers are no longer central to networked student learning, a fact that should make us all more than a little nervous.  Unless of course we learn to change with the times.

I think this would be a valuable way to re-purpose staff meetings.  I can remember few staff meetings, or professional development sessions, where the focus was on ways to change our basic practice.  Most were focused on news updates, or perhaps an examination of the current bug bear: students late to class, homework not being done, chronic absentees or the new report card software.  I always felt as if we were on a merry-go-round, same issues, same suggestions for improvement.

But what if principals took an approach that explored the rich opportunities that networked learning affords?  If this exploration was done together, as a staff, co-learning, there could be many benefits.  Hesitant teachers would feel supported, successes and failures could be celebrated as part of the learning curve.  Those early adopters on staff could act as mentors.

In a world where information is easily found and cheap what do we as educators really have to offer our students?  Maybe that might be a good focus for a start-of-the-year staff meeting.

What do we have to offer that's of value to students that they can't find elsewhere?
How do we foster skills in our students that their future employers will find useful?  What are those skills?
As a staff how will we examine what teaching as a guide and mentor might look like?

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