Friday, August 3, 2012

Getting better: Teachers, students, and schools

If you stop long enough to take stock of our professional development, you may see that the areas in which you are better today than when you began are the result of an accumulation of smaller gains.  In other words, you are better today than you were before not because of any one major event, but as a result of how you grew in relation to the multiple events and opportunities that have been presented along the way.

Similarly, students get better as they experience the opportunities to learn presented by the school.  In almost every circumstance, students get better as a result of the overall experience, not specifically any ONE event (though they may only remember some truly remarkable instances that stand out in their memory).

Schools also seek to get better.  However, as many schools look outside of their walls for solutions for getting better, they can sometimes overlook the many opportunities presented each day within the school.  Here are a few examples:
  • Teachers who have talents that are not being respected and nurtured for the betterment of your program
  • Students who give outstanding efforts, but are taken for granted because their grades are very good
  • Administrators with a vision for success that is being overwhelmed by bureaucracy
A great idea will not make you, the students, or the school better.  It is the execution of that idea by those who are behind, within, and among the idea.  The students, teachers, and administrators who seem to constantly get better are those who focus on making incremental progress and are willing to share the results of their work.
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