Last week Kath Murdoch tweeted out something that got me thinking.
Why is so little teacher professional learning classroom based?
I met Kath in a seminar room. Kath was brilliant and her workshops were illustrated with examples of her teaching. Nevertheless I still walked away thinking to myself.
I really would have liked to see Kath teach. I would like to have her observe me teach.
A lot of forms of professional learning, often involves taking teachers out of the classroom and into a seminar room well away from their every day context. It’s something we generally do after school, when the kids have left.
Why do we do that?
I suspect busyness of schools is partly to blame. We only make time for professional learning by putting it in everyone’s calendar. Yet when I look back on my own professional learning, the experiences I have enjoyed the most have been school-based and teacher-led. The in-school observations from my twitter tour, educamps where the participants drive the learning.
At my last PYP workshop, the best parts were the bits in between the sessions. The conversations with participants and having a look through the school but there was one small problem.
The kids weren’t there.
If teachers can access content online surely a richer workshop would involve coming together to see these ideas in action with real kids for at least part of the time?
If we want to make learning authentic and real for our students are we holding our own learning to the same high standard?