September 27, 2005

Good teachers working to get better

I’m bias but I believe we have the best group of 300 teachers around. I had the privilege of visiting all the schools to talk, but mostly listen to their attitudes and concerns around professional development. Our school district has embarked on the journey into assessment and evaluation and are using learning teams (aka: professional learning communities) as the vehicle for this change.

As with any change, it never comes easy, especially if it’s at all meaningful. What I was most impressed with was the degree to which teachers balanced skepticism and concern with a true desire to do what’s best for kids. As educators we have been witnesses to many a bandwagon and that may never change. This time it seems different. With teachers taking ownership of their own learning, they are willing to make sacrifices and put themselves on the line by working together with their peers. The days of isolation are over my friend and the “new shape of knowledge” needs to be addressed.

With this group of teachers, I like our chances of success.