Social Media has greatly impacted the manner and rate through which ideas are shared, negotiated, refined and accepted.
I am blogging because I wish to share and receive refinement for my teaching practice as an elementary school educator and in-school math coach.
I have Dean Shareski and his insightful blog Ideas and Thoughts to blame for this.
More specifically, Dean Shareski explains in a posting titled, Your Research Matters, that:
… the real important research is the reflective teacher. I’ve been talking for an awful long time about the importance, the significance of teachers who blog. I’ve not talked about it specifically from a research perspective but to me the writing that someone does that analyzes and assesses their practice is every bit as valuable as the university studies that follow all the fancy research rules.
My blog aspires to be a meditation on this idea.
For now, the focus of my posts will be around my reflections as a teacher who employs an inquiry approach to math learning and a 1:1 digital device environment for students. On the flip side it will also include reflections about my role as in-school math coach to my colleagues, where a 4C’s (Elmore) or Joint work framework is employed.
My blog will be written with an understanding that the examination of ‘teaching practice’ and not exclusively the ‘teacher’ is necessary to the improvement of pedagogy. In this regard I am connecting to Brian Harrison’s (Elementary School Principal) blog – The Open Office – specifically his posting on Practice/People where he describes the importance of placing focus on and improving teaching practice without judgment to the teacher. In his words Harrison explains:
Often, in my supervisory capacity, I work with teachers around changing their practice and often this is taken as a personal or evaluative challenge to who they are (as opposed to what they are doing). This is why I spend a lot of time and effort building trust and using precise, non-judgemental, descriptive language when working with colleagues.
It is, after all, about the practice, not the person. Our challenge is that we have evolved a culture in our schools that places too much emphasis [on] the ‘personality’ of the teacher and not enough on the practice. It is easy to see how this can be, things move so fast in classrooms that there exists a steady blur between the teacher and the teacher’s practice.
Let’s work on changing this…
This blog will not be a documentation of perfect practice. Instead it will simply be a description of ‘present practice’. Stuff I am doing now. Similarly, I may post questions I have or ideas I am mulling over. The latter being what I am most interested in doing.
I believe that by posting my reflections I can transform my present teaching practice into improved teaching practice by receiving comments from readers, like you.
I look forward to hearing from you.