I'm no stranger, then, to Dr. Sharon Friesen's Teaching Effectiveness Framework and the (Principle 5) idea that "teachers [best] improve their practice in the company of peers." So captivated by the changing demands on our profession, and the necessity of collaborating to make it all possible, I even had the unique opportunity to reflect on how our schools and system overcome disconnect in a Pecha Kucha conversation earlier this year.
It's actually amazing where connected learning adventures can take you.
Today, for instance, I bring greetings from Canada's capital, Ottawa. More specifically from the Teachers Institute on Canadian Parliamentary Democracy.
It turns out big questions like How do we build community?, How are technologies changing democracy?, or our theme question for our week, How does geography impact Canada?, probably can't be answered well in isolation. Together, we're building a fuller more deeper understanding of this country's relationship with teaching and learning. And it's because of that together aspect of this week, I will return--as cheesy as it might sound--changed.
But I also know I don't have to be in Ottawa to know what it's like to learn together.
February has been a month of teaching and learning together. More accurately, 2016 has been a year for collaboration. Over and over, I realize that our work is now too complex to do alone and the work we do together is so much more rich and enjoyable anyways. Collective professional knowledge and the creativity it can afford is inspiring.
Here are two teachers, that if you let them, will tell you about some exciting community embedded work happening in their classrooms at two different ends of our city. These two represent a room full of incredibly thoughtful educators: you'll see passion in their eyes and you'll hear happy tears in their voices as they share where this year has taken them. This was at a professional learning evening sharing where Campus Calgary/Open Minds weeks fit within year-long inquiries. The story, though, was no different at our Teachers Conventions sessions. Or our High School Focus Group. Or in our co-planning time.
I didn't want the evening pictured above to end. I don't want this week to either.
When it comes to learning, that's a pretty nice way to feel. So thank you colleagues, near and far. I love being in your company. I'm so glad to be doing this important work with you! And I look forward to a career of learning with you.
By better connecting with others we better connect with those at the heart of our work: our learners. It's pretty exciting to realize what is possible together!