This post is part of a series on teaching in 2022:
I noticed such an interesting book title online this morning.
I have yet to read this book, but the title so eloquently stated some of my fundamental beliefs as an education leader. I explored a preview of the book on Amazon, and I’ll share this one quote that stood out for me:
“I’ve written this book because I believe we must learn to create more equitable, inclusive and cohesive culture of professionalism for ourselves.”Chase Orton
We are all “unfinished” as educators. Student learning needs are too complex, the explosion of research about the brain, and the exponential growth of new understanding about our world can feel overwhelming. What’s important is that we are taking steps toward increasing our own expertise, and our collective expertise as educators, as part of our professional work. Our teaching degrees are only the very beginning of our professional learning journeys. We must remain in a learning stance.
Why do teachers and education leaders need to make professional learning a regular habit?
- The quality of classroom instruction is the most important determinant of student outcomes. As a teacher, your expertise and your actions are what makes the most important difference in the lives of your students. As a school leader, ensuring that every teacher is doing the best work possible is your most important goal when we see positive student outcomes as our core purpose.
- When we see that our actions make a real difference in student learning, we take pride in our work. Our self-efficacy – our ability to do work that matters and results in progress – results in increased motivation and achievement for students.
- Increased self-efficacy is correlated with more positive emotions and attitudes, and it acts as a resource to combat the stresses of the teaching profession.
- Every child is entitled to the best possible teachers. The public education system needs us to continue to improve.
Recognizing that we are all “unfinished” is the first step to taking responsibility for our own professional learning. We cannot expect the “system” to meet our individual learning needs.
The Ontario College of Teachers includes a dedication to ongoing learning in the Standards of Practice for the Teaching Profession.
Teachers are also working in a profession where the work is never done. It is no easy task to add professional learning to the many other exhausting tasks needed for success in the classroom and school.
What strategies for building a structure for regular ongoing professional learning have worked for you?
Featured image by Gaelle Marcel on Unsplash
Intentional Interruption (Stephen Katz and Lisa Ain Dack)