I spent the day in training on the Charlotte Danielson model and tomorrow I will be participating in a learning walk to put some of what we learned into practice. A large portion of the day was spent talking about the benefit of teachers learning from other teachers.
As part of this training we were asked to read Charlotte Danielson book Talk about Teaching! Leading Professional Conversations which does a really good job explain not only why teachers should learn from other teachers, but gives ideas on how to make that happen.
I am excited to get the chance to go into another teachers classroom tomorrow and look at what they are doing. I am looking forward to learning from them and also getting a chance to come up with different ways to ask the questions to get them to learn from us and what we saw.
Too often in education observations are a got you game where administrators come in observe you teaching and then write up what they liked or did not like, and that is it. There is no real way to really learn and change or grow as a teacher.
As a teacher, I always welcome other teachers into my classroom. This year I have been lucky enough to have 3 sets of librarians, a director of technology from different school systems along and 2 students teachers come in to watch and learn from me. This is along with the administrators in my building, my administrator, the superintendent, both assistant superintendents, the head of PR and some members of the press, and also some parents. That would many different people in the classroom would scare most people. I welcome it. I enjoy getting to show some of the things that I am doing with my students, and I also always learn something from the person who is observing me.
I wish though that I had a chance to go and see what others were doing. Some of the best learning experiences, I have come from when I can spend time talking and learning from my peers. All to often in schools we are not given the time to do that and it is sad.
I hope in the future we an educational community realize that we need to give teachers more time in their schedule to learn from other teachers and observe the things they are doing in their classrooms. It is so beneficial!
Elissa Malespina is the Middle School Teacher Librarian in Somerville and a Presenter, Author and much more. The views are my own. Find my full resume above.