A few years ago I was in the room with a very senior member of the teaching profession who joked they used so little modern technology they didn’t even have an ATM card.
That comment bothered me for a long time. How can you be a senior member of a profession devoted to learning but be proud that you aren’t learning?
Teaching is full of checks and balances.
Professional and regulatory bodies are often in schools checking to see that our institutions have policy processes in place to ensure high quality education for the children. It’s a vital part of educational systems both local and international. The people appointed to such roles are high quality and respected members of the profession but there is one small problem.
Often they people who oversee teachers have been outside the classroom for a number of years.
And a lot has happened in education in the last few years.
The iPad has just celebrated it’s fifth birthday this month.
YouTube turned ten a few months ago.
How do the people who are checking in schools stay current? How do they know that digital tools are being used effectively for learning?
Or are they looking at student books silently tut-tutting while missing ample online evidence of learning?
Demanding vast reams of paper documents are printed out to peruse?
Who watches the people watching the teachers?
You make an excellent point. Continued training and open discussion is relevant for all in our profession. Those who are burdened with the role of making (the almost always subjective) judgment on the quality of other peoples’ teaching ought to be at the front of the queue for this.
I’m wondering if because they make judgements, the people in charge end up getting the least.
One of my frustrations backs up your comment. My job is to make a lot of these judgements, and I am always uncomfortable doing this – so I ensure that I have a lot of evidence to back up my thoughts, and engage the teacher in discussion. But who judges me? Getting people to come and watch my teaching is tricky, and, despite my reassurances, I’m not sure if junior colleagues are ever completely honest in their feedback to me! There are times when I would really value the honest input from someone a lot younger and more recently trained than me to give me a better perspective on my own practice.
It is so frustrating when administrators brag that they’ve never been on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. I’m not saying they need to be social media experts, but to isolate themselves from tools that are being used in schools every day is sad.