Showing posts from November, 2016

The Ugly Sweaters of Education

The ugly sweater. No matter your faith, it is a recognizable holiday phenomenon. Some wear them proudly, and yet it is only because they are messy, loud, and noticeable. The time when they were fashionable has past (decades ago) but there are some trends that stick around because they are hard to forget. There are certain teaching and learning strategies that are no longer en vogue, but are so valuable they have quietly lasted decades in many classrooms. In many cases, the tools used to carry them out and the names used to describe them have changed. Lecture Yes, I said it. Even as a teacher who has criticized the practice of lecturing quite often, I do believe it is a tried a true practice that can be effective –– if done well. Educators who are masterful lecturers understand that a quality lecture is interactive, thought-provoking, and entertaining for all participants. Great lectures are not solo performances, they are engaging experiences. Pear Deck is one platform tha

Be Honest About PD

My favorite way to learn as a professional is to find opportunities for my colleagues and I to have the time and structure for the conversations we aren't having at school. When at school educators are limited by scheduling, the defined boundaries of titles and roles, and cultural norms or routines for "how things are done" day to day. This is why you'll often find me at regional or national conferences with my colleagues. Sometimes we are co-presenting, but more often we are eager to talk with other teachers, curriculum and technology coaches, and administrators so that we can learn from them and bring inspiring ideas back to our teachers and students. I realized this is the most effective form of professional learning for me because I was asked to intentionally think about it today. This week I had the opportunity to work with a team of teachers and administrators from my school at the Future Ready Summit in Boston . We worked together as a team, and also le