Using Twitter to Enhance Professional Learning

This is the third blog in a series on using Twitter for professional learning. In Part I we explored the question “Should Twitter replace professional development?” In Part II we delved into the pros and cons of Twitter for professional growth. Now let’s get specific about how to leverage Twitter to enhance school and district-level professional learning.

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Outsider: A Call for Connection

I wrote this poem about being an outsider in China in an effort to build empathy for what I have never experienced: being a new immigrant in the United States. I wrote it primarily for monolingual English speakers in my country who ask about immigrants, “Why do they stay together and speak their language?” “Why don’t they learn English?”

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7 Ways to Build Trust for Peer Observation

“There is no more powerful way of improving on the job than by observing others and having others observe us.” —Roland Barth (2006) The challenge is opening doors. Use these seven strategies for building trust and buy-in to begin deep professional learning.

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Schools Must Foster Risk-Taking

It’s easy to forget the dynamic of risk-taking in the world of K-12 education, where success is mapped in a staircase of standards and academic achievement is key to opening doors. This video poem and reflective blog dare educators to stretch the boundaries of what is possible, and inspire students to do the same.

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Gratitude: The Antidote to Teacher Burnout

Little slips of paper saved me, my first year in the classroom. I was ambitious, fresh out of college, and humbled by a restless class of 5th graders. They taught me what I didn’t know about classroom management, and what I needed to learn about teaching. I worked dawn to dusk, and took kids on field trips on weekends. There were days I went home and cried. Creating change in…

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5 Characteristics of Courageous Teacher Learners

From my first year as a teacher, where I struggled tremendously, to now where I lead professional learning across our nations’ schools, I find a consistent theme: teachers want to learn.

It’s not apparent in every staff room, or even publicly in the culture of many districts and schools. Yet when leaders connect to the core of why people teach, and engage them in meaningful inquiry around questions that matter, teachers fire up about learning.

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