|FOR THE LOVE OF READING|
Ah… the reality of a teacher’s life. Too much work, too little time, too many Institute Days.
Recently, I was invited to attend a district-wide Institute Day. After arriving at the school I was unable to find parking and ended up entering first my session a few minutes late. After finding a seat, I set my attention to the front of the room.
The presenter was very animated. His hands were active and his voice carried a lot of inflection. He was excited about his topic. He was an engaging individual... but, unfortunately, I had no idea what he was talking about. So, I desperately looked to his projected slides.
Alas, they did not help much. I am always intrigued by presenters who fill their slides with lines and lines of text. In this case, it was all in capitals.
I NEED YOU TO HEAR WHAT I AM SAYING.
THIS IS REALLY IMPORTANT.
ARE YOU LISTENING?
Why are you yelling at us? Each slide was the same. And, honestly, I couldn’t figure out exactly what his workshop was all about.
But I remember one detail very clearly. He indicated in one of his slides that:
STUDENTS DO NOT NEED TO HEAR LECTURES.
THEY NEED TO BE ENGAGED IN LEARNING.
And then he proceeded to lecture for full hour.
I was not engaged. And by the number of people looking at laptop screens and phones, I suspect others were not as well.
So here’s what I think: teachers need the same things their students need. A clear reason for listening. A high level of engagement. To understand the need for the professional development. To want it. And to use it to work toward becoming more knowledgeable.
JUST LIKE THEIR STUDENTS.
I am here to tell you that all of this is possible. We can link professional development to the needs of teachers and their students based on real classroom data. We can engage teachers in learning and thinking at high levels through a variety of professional development opportunities embedded in their day to day world. We can create learning communities that really learn. And teachers who really think. We can do this with joy. We can do all of this together.
AND THERE’S NO NEED FOR YELLING.
Suzanne Hostrawser is available to create engaging professional development for teachers or parent groups.
Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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I have been lucky enough to have wonderful life experiences in the world of literacy education. I love to learn and talk about learning. Join me. Let's learn together.