Sunday, April 7, 2013

Beginning to process the #DeeperLearning conference:

Two words as emotional reflection:

1. Incipience 

(although years of labor poured in already as Chris Unger's G+post shares, as well as Larry and Rob  oh yeah and Dewey ;) , remind us)

2. Persistence 

Brief summary:

Lots of amazing people working on amazing projects; still SAD that public feels so much on the periphery.  YES charters, YES private, YES independent schools - it is hard enough to get this going and flowing in your environments AND I am a voice to remind us that our majority are at the public in their precinct bc they don't have the money or didn't make the lottery.  

So how to include and invite and persevere in bringing the public along and bridging with the independents? If we change our approach to changing mindset just slightly, we grow from teachers running low in survival mentality to understanding the invite to begin to view Project Based Learning or DeeperLearning or Personalized/Self Directed Learning (whichever label you want to use) not as 'one more burden or thing to add to the plate', but we see holographically that it IS the plate.  And seeing with this new perspective simultaneoulsy resurfaces the passion which brought us to the profession long before the system took its toll. 

To systemically apply this growth mindset several thoughtful steps need to be implemented for duration, and here are just a few quick thoughts that come to mind:

1. Self define if you are more an evaluator or synthesizer on Bloom's chart.
2. When planning groups, pay attention to the balance of synthesizers and evaluators in each group.  In my opinion, the synthesizers will jump in with the instruction, and the evaluators will be great backwards mappers, easily bridging data for accountability and assessing.
3. SUPPORT continuously - RESPECT us, ourselves, and our profession.  Survival mentality is hard to escape and easy to fall back on when things get hard - AND being a teacher is HARD work. This is why lasting change is a process that takes time.
4. Be weary of generic watered down professional development.  So often we look to outside gurus for the answers and best advice.  Growth sets in when the individual and/or group grasps that they ARE the answer and lead the helm.
5. Create spaces to invite and encourage all teachers that want to be on cutting edge of the topic they teach, AND ensure they receive TOP training from TOP professionals.