Hey, It’s 11:30 PM and my head’s still buzzing. This Kool-Aid is powerful stuff!
I know reality will soon bring me down, but right now I’m in the idealistic possibilities stage:
What if….each course had a planning weblog where teachers could not only share lessons and best practices, but reflect and enter into conversations about teaching with each other and administrators?
What if…rather than surveying kids after the course was over, they always had a voice in the learning process? We could reflect on how things went and they could discuss this with us (who needs “www.ratemyteachers.com” if you have a real voice in your learning?)
What if….parents (and taxpayers) actually saw the work, thinking, and professionalism that goes into designing a course, unit, and lesson and were encouraged to contribute their experiences and expertise?
What if….we supported student and nontenured teachers by giving them a forum to post and reflect on their lessons? Rather than turning leson plans in to a supervisor who reads them and sticks them in a file, they could become a part of an electronic protfolio or even a part of a school wide (discipline wide?) discussion.
What if….the whole process was transparent. I know how hard I work and how bright and creative most of my colleagues are. Why not pool and demonstrate this talent? I have tremendous respect for the energy and intellegence of my students. Why not tap into this and make connections that could guide and become the basis for classroom discussions. What I don’t know enough about is the parents, but I do know all of them want the best for the kids and most want a way to participate in their education without interfering. This could be a vehicle for that.
Obviously, we need to talk or I’m just going to keep clogging up your e-mail. Can you spare a few minutes tomorrow?
A few minutes? He’s only proposing to radically redesign just about everything we do at our school. A few minutes will do…
In all seriousness, it’s hard to describe the feeling of reading this. I’ve tried not to beat people over the head with blogs here. I’ve tried to model and encourage, and though I’ve had some pretty good success, this is the first teacher that has really started to see it the way I see it. Many have paid lip service to the potential, but I think he really gets it and wants to change what’s happening in his classroom and his process…BECAUSE NOW HE CAN. That, by the way, is the simplest way of saying why these tools are going to mandate change in the classroom; because now we can involve parents in the process, bring primary sources to the classroom, collaborate and negotiate meaning with students, carry on conversations about our craft, share ideas and plans, all in ways that we never could before.
So, I’ve got a few minutes. Any and all help is appreciated…