Is it long enough?

We have tools to measure for lengths of all sorts of things in our lives……everything except professional learning. How do we begin to judge if it’s long enough or not quite there yet? Peer feedback? Audience engagement?

Does having a shorter video to watch mean more engagement and willingness to do it? For me, I think it’s a toss up. Sometimes I see that the video, or presentation isn’t long at all and find myself zoning out simply because there isn’t enough time for me to gain a deep focus of what I’m hearing or seeing. I think we need to find a happy medium that is shorter but long enough to give all important information. Walk and Talks are my favorite way to collaborate and connect with others. Having a busy body allows my mind to really focus on the conversation at hand and give it my full attention. If I’m asked to sit and talk, that’s exactly what happens, we sit and talk about something completely different than our focus at the time. Allowing educators to participate in that type of PL opens so many other possibilities for what PL could look like. When you realize we are gaining more from the shorter and active sessions, why would anyone want to go back to something that is quickly becoming stagnant?

Living in Growth

The first few weeks of a new school year are the most challenging and frustrating times in my classroom. Getting to know new kiddos, new schedules and flow, and the inevitable “this is too hard” comments. A couple of years ago I started responding with a simple “I’m sorry” and pointing to a chart hanging on the walls titled “Change my words”. I never gave more of a response and didn’t offer a way out of their uncomfortableness. Some felt their only option was to grab an answer from another student but many times they were shut down and shooed away. This was always  met with the loudest groans and mumbling about being ignored but slowly those changed. They began to realize that I didn’t care that they weren’t perfect and didn’t get the content YET. They realized that what I needed from them was to change the way they were voicing their frustrations. Back then I didn’t realize I was asking them to change their mindset and get gritty with their content!

 Within the first month of school, their words didn’t have to be met with “I’m sorry”. Instead, they were able to voice frustrations or troubles in a way that opened up the doors for us to communicate about the situation and not just have it fixed by a teacher.