8 Lessons About Educators

I am a deeply hungry learner – just like you.  Diving headlong into the world of Twitter, the adventure of blogging, and the life of a connected educator, I have discovered several highly apparent lessons about educators – truths about you.  Many of these lessons have become increasingly apparent through the interactions that I have been privileged to share.

 

Lesson #1  Educators Want Resources and Strategies

The traffic patterns on my blog have made one concept very clear to me:  Educators want resources.  As educators we hunger for high-quality strategies that we can immediately use.  When I post general thoughts about education, there will be some traffic.  However, When I post a resource or a strategy that an educator can take, use, and apply with their own personality, there will be much more traffic, and I will often hear about how that resource is being used.

 

Lesson #2  Educators Want Actionable Ideas

Great ideas are great.  But ideas that can be enacted with personality are amazing.  Exactly like students who have astonishing learning ability, teachers are astonishingly creative and passionate.  We all want ideas that can be turned loose and applied creatively.  Providing actionable ideas fuels educators.   Actionable ideas that have space for personal passion are rocket fuel in the hands of a creative educator.

 

Lesson #3  Educators Want Windows

Windows are opportunities to see into other classrooms.  Windows can come in the form of photos and videos, but they can also come in the form of thoughtful discussions and exchanges.  It works like this:  When an educator sees into another classroom, that educator is simultaneously seeing into new possibilities for their own classroom.  Educators constantly carry dual lenses:  “my classroom” and “more possibilities.”  Windows into other classrooms help those lenses to overlap meaningfully.

 

Lesson #4  Educator Intuition is Powerful

Educators have an enormous level of classroom intuition, vastly beyond what anyone outside of education could be prepared to understand.  When looking into the windows, as described above, most educators have an extremely rapid sense of which ideas may or may not work in their classroom, with their students.  Educators have an incredible ability to discern possibilities.  Educators look at possibilities directly through the lens of their own classroom experience, and their intuition about what will work and what won’t work is extremely sharp.

 

Lesson #5  Educators are Hungry Learners

Educators want to grow!  Every one of us is on a personal learning journey and we long for the next step.  Certainly there are times when we carry so much unprocessed learning in our packs that the thought of another learning step can be overwhelming, but we yearn for it.  We hunger for the next part of our learning journey.  We hunger for packs that are not overburdened so that we can take the next step.  We are hungry.

 

Lesson #6  Processing Time is Crucial

We are learning so much, so quickly, in the presence of other learners that it is crucial that we have time to process both privately and collectively.  If you listen carefully to the conversation in many Twitter ed chats you will hear some of that very processing taking place.  The demands for learning, both personally, and for those under our care, are enormous.  Having time to process that learning is crucial.

 

Lesson #7  Reflection is the End Game

Reflection is the very important ground that we must all stand on – where we must pause – in order to let our learning settle, deepen, and extend.  Yet, it can be the very ground that we sometimes skip over.  Taking time to reflect builds in the opportunity to evaluate our own thinking and experiences as well as to let our learning become real.  It just may be that our own journey toward understanding the power of reflection begins with providing our students with time to reflect.

 

Lesson #8  Reflection is Where it all Begins

Reflection is also precisely where many new ideas begin forming.  Reflection can be the pause on the launch pad that provides us with space and time to identify positive and exciting new directions.  That can be the very pause where we take aim and plan our trajectory before we launch, the place where we already start thinking about how to reflect along the way.  Instead of simply launching, reflection can inform the journey ahead and can fuel it with purpose and excitement.  The future begins with reflection.  Taking time to pause, to prepare, to think both forward and backward at the same time is a critical practice for educators.

 

You may also be interested in reading “12 Ideas to Propel Your Growth Journey.”

Click here to read the first post in The Animated Subitizing Series.

The extremely popular Math in Motion post is here.

The all-time favorite, The Animated Multiplication Table, is here.

 

 

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  1. What a wonderful, insightful post! You have summed up my thinking. I will share far and wide. I believe reflection is particularly important – we cannot grow and learn without it. Yet, many of us struggle with reflection. It doesn’t come easily for everyone, so it’s important to embed it in all professional learning.

    1. Sue, these are excellent points. Reflection is important, but sometimes we must work to find the time and the practice. I like how you stated, “it’s important to embed in all professional learning.” That is very important!

  2. Steve, This post is spot on for Connected Educators; I wish ALL educators displayed these attributes. I love how you state that reflection is the end game and also the beginning. Reflecting is often overlooked and seen as something that can be skipped when there are time constraints… And have you ever heard an educator say that they weren’t busy?

    You’ve given me lots to think about. Thank you!

    1. Thanks, Jennifer! This is great feedback, and I appreciate your taking time to leave a comment. Yes, being busy can be what keeps us from reflecting, but it is so important. There could be a post on that concept alone.

  3. Steve,

    I think your 8 ideas are spot on; so many of them resonate with what I write about in #EdJourney and in my own blogging. The great news is that all of these are highly actionable and all of them have powerful working analogues today in schools around us.

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