Please… No More Professional Development if you are going to do it the way it has always been done.
- Do not read to me, I can read.
- Do not pull out a Popsicle stick and ask me for the answer you want, I do not perform on command. And, you might not want to hear my analytical assessment of answers beyond your limited question. I am a thinker not a fill in the blanker.
- Do not ask me to join a group of other people, that is not my learning style. Adapt your style to me. That’s what most of us have to do for the kids we teach.
- Do not assume one size fits all. I am not your size and you have not stopped long enough to know me or figure out my size.
- Do not speak so fast that you have to cover all the material you think you have to cover, I have digital tools, send me a link to your material. I will continue to learn well beyond your prefab session. Remember, it is what you say, not how much you say.
- Do not hand out paper copies only, I have digital tools, send me a link to your material. My learning goes well beyond your simulated speech.
- Do not tell me to put up my digital tools so I can focus on you, I use digital tools to focus on you.
- Do not assume that “seat time” is the same as comprehension. I can sit in your session, but that does not mean that I comprehend what you want me to.
- Do not assume you know everything. I can Google faster than you can speak.
- Do not assume that the “I am bored out of my mind look on my face” is a statement of actual boredom. It may be and most likely is, but I think. I think about what you say. I think deeply about what others say. My mind delves deep into multiple subjects and is most likely outpacing your ability to keep up with my thinking.
- But most of all, Please, Please, Please…Do not treat me like an adolescent, I am an adult learner. And, I have been in the learning process for longer than many of you are old.
I am always in need of fresh reminders. And Cult of Pedagogy gives me a fresh reminder as to why pioneering Coding at a Middle School is such a challenge. It’s not always about the code, sometimes and most of the time, well just about all of the time, it is about the kids.
Setting: Third Period
Me. Hello, how is your day going?
Me: What have you learned today?
Student: I don’t know.
Me: What did you have First Period?
Me: What did you do?
Student: We used Kahoot!!!
Me: Great. What did you learn with Kahoot?
Student: I don’t know.
Reminder to self: It’s not about the tools, it is about the learning.
Teacher Appreciation Week is over, now we can all go back to normal.
A great question came across my eyes this week and it had to do with how leaders support faculty and staff. Good question, how would/do you support. The plethora of responses ensued with “chocolate and jeans”. There is absolutely nothing wrong with chocolate and jeans, that is unless it is used in a ‘Sheldon’ like behavioral modification scheme. Take your leadership to the next level and move beyond trinkets and gimmicks by thinking through the question a little deeper. What does the question of support really entail? It goes deeper, much deeper. It has to do with value.
Restate the question as a statement and present it this way, “I know that I am valued when…” It is a question of value. Am I important and how do you demonstrate to those under your care that they are valuable to you?
Four things immediately come to my mind when I think of value. I know that I am valued when I am acknowledged, heard, included, and affirmed.
- Acknowledged. I know that I am of value and you support me when you recognize that I am here. You take the initiative to greet me and call me by name. You take the time to recognize my presence and declare that I am more than something and that I am a someone.
- Heard. I know that I am of value and you support me when you listen to me. You take the time to focus on what I am saying, comprehend what I mean, and thank me for my input.
- Included. I know that I am of value and you support me when you ask for my opinion and you make me a part of your decision making process. I realize that you may not agree with me, but you keep me informed and you demonstrate that my thoughts and insights are a part of your commitment to excellence.
- Affirmed. I know that I am of value and you support me when you call on me for my expertise. I am a highly educated professional who knows stuff. I am a continual learner who is not a novice. You realize that I am tenured in the world of experience, mistakes, and successes. You seek me as a source of substance and I am grateful.
Move your leadership beyond symbolism and into substance by acknowledging, hearing, including, and affirming those entrusted to your care.