The Quiet Good
So often, teachers think that they are "just teaching" and do not realize the Quiet Good that occurs through their expertise, everyday. We are working to not only change that, but to put the power for their expertise in the hands of all teachers across the district.
At a time when teaching changed instantaneously, we needed to find a way to support our educators. How could we continue with inquiry, engineering practices, developing creators of their own learning in the chaos that began with COVID-19? We reached out to those who carried the expertise all along. The teachers in our district. We started by asking teachers what they struggled with, what they needed and what they knew was going very well. We contacted those teachers who responded to the initial survey that asked those questions and many chose to meet with us.
Through talking with the teachers and hearing what worked in their classrooms, we invited them to lead professional learning sessions on those very strategies. Most of those teachers were quiet leaders, not often those who volunteered or shared their expertise because in their words, they were “just teaching”. They had no idea of the quiet good that existed within their redesigned and redefined classrooms. As these teachers agreed to share their effective STEM strategies, more and more teachers chose to attend the optional sessions. We recorded them. We shared the recordings to reach additional teachers. Soon we had a network of colleagues and a confidence level among the faculty that connected them to their schools, students, and each other like never before. Teachers have the opportunity to learn and try things from within our district, before their students do. They use the tools and resources readily available.
As we returned to a more regular school structure, we maintained the initiative to lift up those who quietly created scientists, authors, and creators of tomorrow. We provided them with the environment to share what works in their classrooms. Our own teachers know the cultural, economic, and learning needs of our community more than someone from ten states away coming in to offer a one day learning sessions. By collaborating with teacher leaders within our district we have the opportunity to apply on-going professional learning and support, in a collegial way, like never before. Not only do our students benefit, but every professional in the district, as well. This partnership in learning highlights the good going on in classrooms and offers the opportunity to quietly expand the expertise within our district.