Today I helped facilitate a Mini Task Jam with Sarah Woodard that the Literacy Design Collaborative and the National Writing Project made possible. I feel so fortunate because we had so many amazing and awesome things come together to make this happen. We also had some really incredible teachers from four different school districts in the Denver area who took their Saturday morning to engage deeply in the work we were doing.
There is something really magical that happens when teachers are placed in a room, shown a tool, and given time to talk and create with one another. When teachers feel trusted to make amazing things happen, they do it: they ALWAYS deliver. Today was no exception.
The teachers worked hard to understand what we asked of them. They made every effort to make sure they did a good job. They collaborated and they sat in a space of professionalism. And they do this every time we do an event like this one.
But here’s the crazy thing. This notion, this idea of giving teachers time to figure out and problem solve their work rarely happens in our schools. This makes teachers feel like they’re not professionals. It makes them feel like they can’t be trusted. It makes them feel like they are not worthy of the time they give to the profession. So many teachers today thanked us for giving them time. They thanked us for sitting with them to collaborate. They thanked us for treating them like the professionals they are.
It seems crazy to me that we have to think of ways to replicate this in a school setting. What’s the difference? What can we do to treat teachers like this every day? What would that look like?
How awesome would THAT be?