When I train teachers, I make it very clear that I am teaching them to do things that I never did in the classroom. Sometimes, this will lead to someone asking me, “Then why should we listen to you?
A valid question with a good answer. First, I was a decent teacher in my era. That era was over 20-years ago, pre-accountability. We didn’t have the knowledge base now available to teachers. We didn’t have the tools now available to teachers. And we didn’t have the pressure to make sure every student succeeded like today’s teachers.
I can actually make you an extensive list of things that we thought were best practice in my era that if a teacher did today would get them fired in short order.
But what I’ve done since I’ve left my classroom is spend lots and lots of time in other classrooms. Watching struggling teachers, average teachers and exceptional teachers. Distilling what practices separate those groups and helping teachers better do the practices that drive success and let go of the practices that inhibit success.
I coach teachers to do the things that allow them to thrive in today’s classroom. I’ve learned these things by observing today’s great teachers.
At this point in time in our profession, with every passing day what I used to do becomes a better example of what not to do.
As I constantly remind the teachers I work with… Don’t be me. Be better than me.
Think. Work. Achieve.
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