How often do you feel like you’re being beaten over the head with best practice after best practice? Have you ever read a blog post or have been given an article to read or attended a professional development workshop where you’re exposed to all these strategies and you just think “Yeah, this all sounds great… but how am I supposed to do that?” or “Who’s got the time for that?” or “That’s not really my style” or how about “Sure, this might work in your classroom, but I have…”? You may have the intention to grow as a teacher, but it’s not always easy drinking from the fire hose that is the world of teacher professional development.
This blog is about facing common situations that get us down, then providing tools, but keeping in mind the question “How do we change?” It is not easy to change the way we do things, even though we feel we are told to by administrators, experts, colleagues, speakers, consultants, articles, and journals. This blog was created to teach you tools in a way that actually helps you implement them. I do this in several ways:
- Give small things to implement. Rome wasn’t built in one day, and you’re not going to switch to standards-based grading overnight (let alone even buy into it overnight).
- Provide detailed ways of implementation, providing exactly what to say or giving concrete examples of implementation.
- Bring relevance by highlighting how tools address your actual needs. Many things we come across are supposed to help students, but if we believe what we already do helps students, why take on a new approach? Simply saying it’s great for your students (while important) is not always enough.
- Address our own restricting mindsets we may not even be aware we have.
I’ve been teaching science since 2008 at a public high school in Los Angeles. Since then I’ve been a mentor teacher in several contexts and I’ve also earned my National Board Certification in teaching. My real interest lies in psychology and behavior change. How do we get students to make changes they ultimately want to make? How do we get teachers to make changes they ultimately want to make?
Of course, making changes and improving our practice does take time and effort. If you are willing to do that but would also benefit from some “scaffolding”, stick around. Subscribe to my e-mail list and you’ll receive e-mail updates about the latest posts about once or twice a month.
Meanwhile, here are a couple posts to get you started!