Important conversations

survey says....

survey says....

I took a survey 2 weeks ago about our school.  It covered a wide variety of questions, but one stood out to me:

The teachers in my school meet as a whole staff to discuss ways to improve teaching and learning.

I’m sad to say, I clicked the radio button for ‘Never’ and moved on to the next question.  I didn’t even deliberate.  There was no doubt in my mind that the answer was ‘Never.’

I brought this to the attention of the staff last Friday while leading part of our professional development.  I saw some nodding heads around the room, as well as a few blank stares.

The real epiphany, though, was when I led them into this conversation.  I led a socratic seminar focused around the question, “if you were a student at our school, what would your education to be like?”

The level of emotion in this conversation was palpable.  Many people expressed strong feelings and opinions that had clearly been pent up for years.  Several people shed tears.

This was an important conversation.

Yet, now that the raw emotion has been released and tears have flowed; now that people have had a chance to vent –  the real conversation has to begin…

What are we going to do about it?

2 thoughts on “Important conversations

  1. You’ve made a great start! So.. what are you going to do about it? Is PBL a whole school approach? Then surely you have a common language for conversation? Or is just something you do in your classes? And.. you said it was part of PD, so what do you in PD that doesn’t include staff discussions about teaching and learning? Lots of questions… sorry :)

  2. Ed –

    PBL should be a whole school approach. Sadly, at my school it is really just a few of us. I’ve led a workshop on it but haven’t seen any implementation yet.

    Much of our PD over the past few years has been “sit and get” or focused on individual/ PLC/ department time. We have had very few conversations about teaching and learning as a whole staff.

    Sad, isn’t it?

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