When it comes to education, we need to stop pretending...
- that expecting kids to learn challenging stuff at seven in the morning is reasonable, or even productive. Let's pay attention to research on human development and acknowledge that teens need later starts to learn and grow.
- that expecting teachers to thoughtfully hone their craft through just a few days of lecture-based professional development is enough. We need ongoing opportunities for meaningful PD - time set aside in our work day (not added on top of it) to be in conversation with colleagues, administrators, and outside experts. The more we are in dialogue with one another, the more likely we are to move toward a more authentic, interdisciplinary approach to teaching and learning.
- that teachers can grow in isolation. My door is always open - as are many of the doors down the hall. Let's get administrators and colleagues in our classrooms to observe and discuss so that evaluations are based on more than just hearsay, and more importantly, so that we can learn from each other. I'd love feedback on my lessons beyond what my students give me.
- that piling on a boatload of homework is an effective way to extend our class periods and expand our courses. It's not fair to students. Sure, some may wonder what on earth kids will do when they get home from school; but then again, I don't want my students judging me for flopping on the couch after a long day and zoning out to NCIS reruns. Let's bring free time and family time back.
- that technology is the be-all-end-all OR the enemy. Let's use it to connect kids with meaningful audiences outside of the walls of our classrooms. Let's use it to foster collaboration among students, and clear communication between teachers and kids. Let's use it to make our feedback more personalized and more timely. It's a tool. Let's use it well.
True to the genre of the Internet Challenge, I'm naming five awesome educators (all from KCI MERIT - woot! woot!) who I would love to have weigh in on the question: Diane Main, Roni Habib, Karl L-S, Lisa Highfill, and Lisa DeLapo (Sorry if you already did it and I missed your tweets. Retweet 'em!). This challenge came my way from Jen Roberts. You can read her post here. The original challenge came from from Scott McCloud, who has compiled a bunch of responses here.