As the school year draws to a close, I find that I feel a little stale in my teaching practices. I have a toolbox with many drawers, but I tend to reach for the uppermost because it’s convenient, familiar, and reflexive. Therefore, I’m not alone in my classroom feeling a little bored!
So, yesterday, I reached into my classroom bookshelf for my thumbed-through copy of Teach Like a Champion to remind myself of other techniques that are available to me. OH MY GOD, what a relief! I forget how many tools are literally (yes, literally!) at my fingertips. I’m so grateful that my boss at my first school handed me a copy from her stores when I began my career and was drowning in novice-hood, sore-throated and haggard.
As I thumb again through the book, I see a handful of pages dogeared, but for the most part not touched. The few techniques I recall (Vegas Moment, Exit Ticket, No Opt Out)… well, I recall them, but I can’t always say I use them. Or say I always use them!
Of course, it’s not to use every tool every time, but to refamiliarize myself with all the drawers in my toolbox is like a draught of water on a hot day. I feel relief.
Therefore, as I sat in meditation this morning, the idea struck me that I wonder if other teachers at my school might be feeling similar stagnation and welcome the chance to get together to read/re-read and discuss one or two tools a week and spitball some ideas for how to literally 😛 implement the techniques in their own classroom (since theoretical professional development is the WORST).
After dismissal, we’re still contracted to be on-site for another 30 minutes. Well, what if I hosted a “Drop-in PD” in my classroom for 20 of those minutes? We’d read a tool, refresh and head on our way.
Charged up with this idea and already composing an email to the faculty in my head (yes, during meditation!), I figured I should probably square this with the head honcho, in case there was a conflict or even an existing opportunity that I didn’t know about, and also to gain her ideas on the subject.
Therefore, at 6am today, there I am composing an email to my boss about how to improve my teaching, and perhaps the teaching of my peers.
Hungry. That’s what I imagine she’ll think when she reads that email!
Because it’s not the first talk we’ve had recently on what I could do to increase my value (and compensation) at the school. I met with her a few weeks ago to bandy about ideas and, through my supervisor, I heard that there may be one option on the horizon. One that will be HOLY COW a lot of work, but it’s mostly initial set-up that can then be replicated with somewhat lesser effort in subsequent years.
I haven’t heard from the big boss on that yet, so I’m waiting for our monthly meeting next week.
But, in the meantime, can’t hurt to say I wanna host a klatch of teachers to improve our professional excellence, now can it?;)