We have high expectations. We actively engage students. We observe to take notes on what they say and do. We are feeling on top of our formative data-gathering game!
Then, brain science enters the equation with humbling news: We don’t always see what’s right in front of us. This is especially true when we have implicit biases—which, as humans, we always do. We have all been conditioned by false narratives about racial difference, language hierarchies, and gender differences—whether we believe them or not.
Observing students is one of the most important teaching skills. It is also one of the most under-prioritized in professional learning initiatives and district-wide change. Using observation data for equity requires more than watching students — we need to learn to see beyond our own biases and use new data to challenge our own assumptions.
Every day—in classrooms, in staff rooms, in online communities—teachers come together to collaborate. We love to connect, build community, share ideas, and help each other better serve our kids. But is it always effective? Compare these approaches.
Mention peer observation inquiry (OI) in education circles, and one of the first questions is always, “How do you build teacher buy-in?” It’s a critical question. Teacher leaders, however, ask another important question: “How do you build administrator buy-in and support for peer observation inquiry?” Here are five tips to help teacher leaders engage administrators in supporting effective, job-embedded professional learning.
At George I. Sanchez Community School, a Title I school in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Title I Kindergarten students are actively using technology to collaborate, create and communicate in ways that deepen content learning. It didn’t start this way. Learn how teachers collaborated to transform their teaching.
“Instead of brushfires for excellence, we need infernos of excellence. Our project will do this.” In a packed hotel conference room in Albuquerque, New Mexico, teacher leader Maureen Torrez, NBCT, describes the observation inquiry pilot project she and her team of National Board Certified Teachers are leading to deepen how teachers and students learn in Albuquerque public schools.
We need every teacher to believe in the full potential of every kid. Most of us share this belief, in theory. In practice, things get a little more complicated. It’s easy, for example, in a school where most students underperform, to adjust our expectations of what is possible to fit what we see. It is much more challenging to hold a vision that extends beyond the status quo, and help kids grow into that vision.
Here seven powerful practices you can use in your school to raise expectations for all students, especially ELLs, students of color, students living in poverty, or any students who are not yet thriving.
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.
In part I of this three-part blog series, I challenged the notion that Twitter should replace professional development. A total replacement would be tragic, but using Twitter to enhance professional learning has serious potential.