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Thanks for this post as it's something I will share with my fellow administrators and teachers. As I read through your rationale, what strikes me most your pleas for teachers to see themselves as learners, something that is all too often forgotten in our profession. We spend much of our time teaching and neglect our learning. But, even as I read that and type my response, I am hearing the counter-arguments from the teachers I work with: "We go to workshops," or "I am always taking the classes the district offers."

My response, after reading your post has less to do with the taking of the classes or the attendance of the workshop, but more with the larger impact what the teacher who attended or took the class brought back with them. Communities of Practice or Critical Friends Groups, or some entity by any name in schools that asks teachers to have dialog about their practice is necessary. For a lot of us, blogging helps with reflection. What do our non-blogging colleagues do for reflection and dialog?

Gail Lovely

Thank you for putting so many powerful thoughts into one post! I work with many schools and many learners. It is clear to me that the first step in my more successful efforts is the realization that there is a NEED to keep learning and growing by the adults in "the system" and the second is that there is great power in the permission "to fail". Trying new tools, resources and behaviors needs to be encouraged in an atmosphere where NOT trying is the only failure!

Thanks again for a GREAT addition to the thoughtful blogosphere!


Stephanie Sandifer

Gail and Patrick,

Thanks so much for the comments -- I think both of you "hit the nail on the head" with the words "reflection," "dialogue," and "permission to fail."

There are additional comments on the cross-posted version of this on my blog http://www.ed421.com/?p=453, so I encourage everyone to head over there to read those comments as well as they take these thoughts even further. (That's the problem with cross-posting -- the comments can get scattered!)



Thanks for a great post. As I posted earlier this month I am recently back from a conference of principals and administrators who were very interested in what to do next. In fact the situation you describe in the first paragraph is great picture of their reality.
I am going to add this post as a link to my conference wiki!
Thanks too for putting my own practice in perspective...
I love this line
"so that your school looks, feels, and functions less like a factory and more like a globally connected communications and learning center..."
It is the challenge we face!

Steven Kimmi

Excellent post! I read it on the cusp of my district spending a lot of money on technology with a moderately resistent teaching force. This is a case of top-down change, something that may prove to be ineffective. I have shared this with my administrators as a place to start next year. The problem is not what they are buying, it is the fact that no training or development to implement the tools is in sight.

If I can add to what Patrick said, we know that you have gone to what the district offers, but what have you done on your own. Learning becuase the district and liscensure requires it is one things, but actively pursuing being a better teacher, with no compensation or administrative directive, is entirely different.

I am positive most of us out here would agree that what we have learned on our own, for ourselves, far outwieghs the amount of knowledge gained from administrative directives.

Gareth Long

This is a great posting and one that I have shared with colleagues already. It really does summarise our thinking on the way forward in many respects.

I wil also be cross referencing it from my own blog on: http://blog.garethl.com

Thanks for this really well written post.

David Carpenter

You most definitely nailed it. Thanks for covering so many bases as we work to shift our schools.

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