How do we keep learning?

Slice of LIfe

March 8, 2012

It is late and I want to just skip this post tonight but decided this is about learning. Right?  That is  the question  swimming in my head right now.  As teachers we work so hard to tell your students that they need to be life long learners. We give them example after example of people learning through out their life.   But do we do that as teachers?

Every two weeks the teachers around me meet for our Professional Learning Community.  ( PLC)  This time is for sharing what we are reading, discussing what is working, reflecting with each other around best practice.   The group comes in and sits.  They may have read the chapter we are looking at, they are unwilling to share what is happening in their classroom and I ( new to this school this year) am always beginning the conversation.  I try to do it with questions. I am wondering about this or I tried this this week and this happened ( good or bad).  Nothing –  no discussion, no real engagement in the work in front of them.

This frustration was fueled tonight as I sat with my daughter who is student teaching right now.   She was looking for feedback on lessons and unit plans.  She needed to reflect on what was working well and where she was struggling.  She is not getting that feedback from the people around her and was upset.  She needed to know if she was headed in the right direction. We had a great conversation.  We both learned a great deal as we reviewed her plans for an Author study on Chris Van Allsburg. We talked about the standards for 3rd grade, what would be expected on the state literacy test in another month, what concepts do the students already know and where do they need support.   She showed me student work from the beginning of the unit and we looked at what students were understanding ( yeah for formative assessment).   We shared together all the components of a good PLC.  We were both energized and excited about her lessons, plans and I had new ideas for the author study I will begin in a few weeks.   We were both learning.  I who has taught for 30 years and she who is just beginning.

So the questions is – as teachers why are we afraid to continue to learn, to read new things, to try new ideas and talk with new young teachers to see what they have to offer.

Come on teachers we talk about modeling for students – model, model model!  We need to model life long learning as well!

( I know that those of you reading this post are indeed life long learners because you are here with me doing this writing challenge.  You are pushing your self and students to learn.    Thank you for being here.  I needed you tonight.)

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About Joanne Toft

I am a retired Minneapolis Public School teacher. I walk, garden, help in schools and write. Life is good!
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One Response to How do we keep learning?

  1. MaryHelen says:

    Your ending is so true. I have found that my outside-the-school group sometimes is able to help me process better than the quiet ones in my school. You are so right, though, that we have to be communicating and sharing in order to keep learning. Keep trying. Glad you were able to process with your daughter as well.

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