Ever get stuck on an escalator?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA If you have never seen this video, it is worth watching!

Do you know any educators who are stuck on their own escalator? Are you stuck? While this image and video might make us laugh, there are those in education (and to be fair every profession) who are literally stuck in what they do. They are the ones who wait for someone else to set an agenda and make forward progress. They wait for “official” PD opportunities, avoid social media, etc. The sad part is that this has an impact on kids!

How do we help people who are stuck? How do we get them to take ownership for their own learning and not wait for someone to train them on a new teaching strategy? We could throw up our hands and say that there will always be educators like this, but what about those students in the classroom? Don’t all students deserve a rich classroom experience?

Schools can start by creating a culture where self motivated PD is not only encouraged but expected! The big question…What is the best way to foster this culture? I would love your thoughts!

Don Sturm

5 thoughts on “Ever get stuck on an escalator?

  1. I would say that some are ready for that culture but it is a step in the discomfort zone! People like and love the comfort because it is already known facts. Been there done that and know what will happen! Then on the other side of that spectrum is the teachers who feel that comfortable is to slow, re-dundun! I learn that when I jump off that escalator mentality I get energize. I don’t know what will happen but I known one thing, I can’t wait to experience it and analyze after. Was it good, need some tweaking or never do that again! Then share that knowledge with others to try for themselves. Teachers like to try what worked.

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  2. I can, like you, go on and on with examples of people being stuck. I know what you are talking about. The challenge? Getting these people to ‘take the stairs.’ In my experience it starts with encouraging and modelling change despite the “eye rolling” that we often get. When people do self motivated PD, have them share with staff. Start by sharing something you’ve learned through your own PD, I’ve been trying this. Slowly moving…up the stairs.

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  3. Totally agree. I find it ironic that most educators wait passively for PD to fall into their laps and THEN they’ll make changes in their practices. This year we decided to do teacher inquiry groups, which are self-directed by highly focused teaching goals. It’s going really well, and teachers are definitely more involved and engaged in their practice. This link offers some guidance. http://specctoolkit.carnegiefoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/how_to_facilitate_a_teaching_community_v4.pdf

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