KISS [Keep It Simple Stupid!]

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Tell them what you are going to tell them.

Tell them.

Tell them what you told them.

Keep It Simple, Stupid!

These are great words of advice for creating a presentation.

Could they work as well for those of us designing professional learning?

In his address to the Ontario Leadership Congress in April 2015, Simon Breakspear emphasized the importance of having a clear vision of what future learning looks like, sounds like, feels like.

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He said, “We cannot lead others into a future we cannot see.”

Our role as leaders is to get out of the conceptual, and move from vision documents to “here, let me show you”.

So what is our profession, then, at the bare bones level?

Teachers cause learning to happen.  They cause learning to happen for every child and student trusted into their care.  Every single one.

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It is not okay for a child to be ‘stuck’ and not learning in a classroom.  It is the responsibility of the teacher to ensure that child is learning.  No teacher has to do this in isolation.  Teachers are aware of their best practice, and they search for their next practice that will help that child learn.  The wider the professional network, the larger the opportunity to find solutions to learning problems.

This remains one of my favourite simplified statements about the work teachers do.

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 Catherine Montreuil, 2013

Let’s keep it simple, and make sure all of our children are on a path of learning.





3 thoughts on “KISS [Keep It Simple Stupid!]

  1. Quoting: ” It is the responsibility of the teacher to ensure that child is learning.” Personally, just like we can’t TEACH them anything if they are willing to learn, we can’t ensure they’re learning either – for the same reason. But the teacher can and should make sure the classroom environment provides Dan Pink’s three elements of intrinsic motivation (purpose, autonomy, and mastery), along with other facilitating efforts: good feedback, alignment with standards, effective problem solving, good teaming, communicating, meaningful portfolios, real world / age appropriate projects, time management, effective learning skills, ….

    1. Thank you for taking the time to share your comments.

      Do you worry that “we can’t ensure they are learning” becomes a slippery slope to “they have the right to fail” thinking?

      What I think is important is the premise that we keep looking for the solution. We ask colleagues, leaders in the organization, our PLN, professionals in other fields – we don’t stop trying. We don’t give up. I is our responsibility to build a network that can help us solve learning challenges with our students.

      1. Unfortunately, both are correct – we can’t insure learning and we can’t prevent failing (for the latter, I’m presuming we assign the course grades they earn; not giving the appropriate failing grade doesn’t mean they don’t fail).

        We provide the learning environment, mentor / facilitate our best, learn from and with our PLN, … as you suggest. If the choose not to learn and compound it to the point of failing completely, there’s not any options for us as teachers.

        They need to get the learning mindset from parents or day care / preschool and then in the early grades to really get an education. But of course, we keep trying. AT SOME POINT, THEY MUST CHOOSE, REPEAT CHOOSE, TO ENGAGE. WE CAN’T DO THAT FOR THEM…

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