After a successful school beginning, I carefully planned my presentation to parents at back-to-school night. After my talk, one of the parents came up to me, extended his hand, and said with a grin from ear to ear, â€œHi, I am Seamus Oâ€™Hare! What are you?â€ I had NO idea what to do with his question.
The question becomes, how do we translate our history students’ understanding of past actors into action by young people today? In March we decided to chuck the traditional exam format and craft a project to help students make this connection and consider what it means to be an engaged citizen.
Do not tell me
You do not have time.
You cannot complete the assignment
Or come to training
Or take a course
Or read a blog
Or expand your own learning
What can we do, as administrators, to promote teacher learning on a daily basis? How can we structure our organizations to allow for collaboration and communication among peers, embed opportunities for both face-to-face and online learning, help our teachers stay informed and familiar with current research and practices (in content, pedagogy, and technology), model for them that we ourselves are growing professionally, and help the organization as a whole realize that complacency must be eradicated?
In year two, our Digital Learning Collaborative teams look at what theyâ€™ve learned and apply it in their classrooms. Using an inquiry model, we ask the teams to evaluate what impact their use of technology is having on students. But more often than Iâ€™m comfortable with, teams balk at this point in the process. Some of them do not want to do this work. That keeps me up at night.
If creativity is such an important aspect of 21st century learning, then we as educators must teach our students how to be silent and still. Our students must learn to value the rewards of unplugging from the never-ending feed and creating moments where we can listen to ourselves.