My former boss has requested that two of the staff from his new school come and visit me in my natural habitat. That is, they are coming to my school and my classroom and my office to see how I do things. AAAaHHHH! I better clean up my office. I better clean up my classroom. How do I do things?
This got me thinking. What kind of chocolate should I request? LOL and on a more serious note...
What do I do that is different? What do I do that other teachers might actually be interested in hearing about? Is it what I do that is special? or is it really the way that I see my classroom and my students that is different? Is it my philosophy to teaching that is different? Is it my experience?
As you can tell, I had more questions about my practice than answers... so I decided this was perhaps not the most efficient way of collating my "best practice" to share with my esteemed colleagues. So, I sent an email. I, very casually, mentioned to my former boss that I wasn't really sure what he wanted from me. I had no idea what I was going to tell his little friends or why he was sending them to me, of all people.
In his infinite wisdom, he called me. A short conversation later and I had a feel for their current context and where they are headed. I also had a tidy little list of documents that I needed to collect and save onto a flash drive to send with them. My boss also mentioned a few strategies and systems that I implement and told me I had to share. Even though he is no longer my boss... I wanted to say "yes sir" and leap into action. Then I hung up the phone and landed back in the real world. So, his request went on the bottom of the "to do" list and I got back to it.
My thoughts have led me to consider what is really important about my practice and my classroom. If I had a small amount of time to impart all I can to a colleague what would I give them? What assumptions should I make about their world and knowledge?
It is a regular part of my job to speak with pre-service teachers, teachers, heads of department, principals and regional co-ordinators for literacy. If you are concerned that someone in my position still gets nervous talking to parents and wonders why a local learning support teacher wants to see me… I’m concerned too.
I will have to think more on this. What do I know that others need to know? What is the essential information that I need to give them?
If you are not a teacher, just enjoy the fact that a scatterbrain like me has managed to impress someone out there.
If you are a teacher … do you ask these questions of yourself when you are lesson planning? What other questions do you ask yourself?