Basic practice vs. professional practice.

One of the things that happens when one reads, grows, learns, challenges, and reflects on practice is old notions fall away.  I saw a tweet recently that went something like, “I would be horrified if I was still teaching the same way I did when I started.”  That would be true for me.  That would have meant that over 34 years so far….I’ve learned nothing about the art and science of teaching.  Early in the career, so many professional conversations did not happen.  So many opportunities to read and discuss did not happen.

When one knows better, one must do better.

Recently I shared a draft graphic with two principals and a veteran teacher.  I was exploring some of the practices in the classroom that separated professional educator practice from basic educator practice.  The 3 other educators were not shy in giving opinions and input.  Thank you to Mark Beddes, Mark Robinson, and Kirk Dodge.

One of the first changes was examining the differences in practice, not educators.  We had a very healthy conversation about desks being in rows.  A strong opinion held that desks in rows weren’t automatically a bad thing.  So that language was sculpted into a more flexible representation.

Here’s the chart: Screen Shot 2018-03-12 at 7.26.18 AM

These practices are a few off the top of the head.  Obviously there are a lot more.  One thing I can say for sure is, that if I had known then, what I know now….I would have been a much stronger teacher for more kids.

When one knows better…..

Author: Jeff Nelson

Jeff Nelson Fife School District Assistant Superintendent:Teaching-Learning-Innovation 36 years as an educator. 16 years teacher 3 years assistant principal 12 years principal 5 years Assistant Superintendent BA, Washington State University MAEd, Washington State University Previous member of AWSP Legislative Committee Previous member of UW Tacoma PEAB, Administrative Certification Established and maintained Fife’s first website for 7 years Present work includes establishing the first Teaching/Learning/Innovation department in the Fife School District. Examples of responsibilities include: teacher/administrator professional development, assessment, TPEP, curriculum/materials review, 24 credit requirement, technology levy leadership, teacher/administrator bargaining. Initiatives underway in Fife, as a result of new TLI Department: AVID, OER, Curriculum and Materials reviews, Student Perception Pilot with CSTP, Google Expedition Cofounder of Educational Internet Communications, LLC. Marketed and sold one of the first online grade checking programs in the US. Consulted with Seattle Educational Internet Company for 2 years. jnelson@fifeschools.com twitter.com/jeffnelsonTLI

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