Lessons from Educon 2.2: 5 Requests Of All Savvy Teachers

Over the weekend I co-led a discussion on professional development at Educon 2.2 with @magistram and @bknittle.  We talked of subversive professional development as a way to spread ideas of project-based learning and tech-integration.  Defining “subversive professional development” became our first challenge.

After our hour and a half session, I now understand SPD as a teacher-to-teacher, community-building approach to PD instead of the traditional administration-to-teacher approach.  What do I mean by that? Savvy teachers need to take other teachers in their departments, and schools, under their wings and organize their community around developing professional learners.

Here is what I would ask from those currently leading the charge towards innovative education:

1) Reach out to us, your colleagues, and show us how Web 2.0 tools can make our work more efficient and effective.

2) Encourage us to take creative risks and share these risks with the world. @shareski told me, “build your career around transparency and value failure as much as success and you’ll be fine. Better than fine.”

3) Promote our great ideas! Help us build a PLN and applaud our efforts.

4) Focus on the positive because that moves things forward and prevents discouragement.

5) Take a risk on those of us new to teaching. As a new teacher, I am hungry to learn. Show me how to learn and show me how to learn with my students.

Through these requests you will construct a community of learners.  Community creation will lead to collaboration that will ultimately culminate in a culture of learning coaches.  To paraphrase what @willrich45 said in one session, instead of focusing on teaching people how to teach, we need to teach people how to learn. You savvy teachers can stimulate this movement.  Show us the ropes and welcome us to your community.

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