I am sitting in Austin-Bergstrom International Airport and I just ate some weird tacos. They weren’t like tacos I was used to that had chili powder and cumin to season them. I’m pretty sure it was just salt and pepper. They weren’t bad. They were just different. It got me thinking: Just because you sell tacos at a restaurant doesn’t mean those tacos are good and your recipe for tacos might not be the same as my recipe, but if all you ever eat is your own tacos you’ll never know any better or different.
Then, like almost all ideas I have I thought, “It’s like the classroom.” Probably one of the greatest crimes is that we never get to taste other tacos. We don’t get to see other teachers in action very often. You might say, “But, Webs, what if I, or my teachers, see a terrible teacher in action?” Great!! Now you know what not to do! You use non-examples in the classroom right? Guess what? They work in life too!! Crazy! I know!
Then I took it a step further. What if, for one school year, all the money normally spent on outside PD and conferences – time without kids – was spent on subs or whatever was needed to allow teachers to go watch each other teach when they had actual real life children in attendance? Yeah, not just adults pretending to be 8 year olds. Let’s face it, kids are like CEOs, we only get them for a short time each day and they can’t reschedule.
What if the teachers shared feedback and ideas before and after observations? With each other. With admin. With themselves via reflections. No outside paid for PD. Just observation. What if they kept portfolios along the way to demonstrate how they learned from the experience using tools we mentioned in the NEPF post?