August 30, 2013 by Brad Currie
I often hear and believe in the saying “We are in the improvement business, not the perfection business” as it relates to our role as educators and the impact we have on students. But what about us as lead learners? Educators must live by this saying as well. Each and every day we should be learning something new, staying connected online, trying out a new strategy or tool, sharing best practices, and collaborating cross grade level/subject area. It is the only way to improve our craft and have a legitimate impact on student success. Here are five ways to develop yourself professionally in and outside of the classroom setting:
1. Smackdowns ~ Don’t know what one is? Read more here. Smackdowns should be held at every faculty meeting, subject area meeting, grade level meeting, and curriculum day throughout the school year.
2. Weekly Email Digests ~ School leaders and/or curriculum specialists should create or subscribe to weekly email digests that can be disseminated to staff in a timely fashion. Here is an example of how I use Educlipper to share best practice resources with staff members district wide.
3. School Hashtag: Create a school wide or district wide Twitter hashtag. This can prove to be a tremendous help for staff as the look to improve their craft and find information easily via social media.
4. Edcamps: Attend a local Edcamp for free and be exposed to some of the most innovative ideas in education. They are happening all over the place and the model can be replicated in your own school or district.
5. 80/20 Principle: Eric Sheninger Principal at New Milford HS in New Jersey incorporates Google’s 80/20 philosophy. Why not find more time for staff to improve who they are as educators during the school day? It is probably better time served than monitoring student’s behavior in the hallway or cafeteria.
How do you improve your craft as an educator and lead learner? Please share.