A World Where Respect is the Norm

Today I helped facilitate a Mini Task Jam with Sarah Woodard that the Literacy Design Collaborative and the Nationa2 mini taskl 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 ide3 mini taska 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?

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2 thoughts on “A World Where Respect is the Norm

  1. Molly,
    I like what you said about the magical things happening during your Saturday event when teachers were “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.”

    I think that is part of the answer for replicating it in a school setting. It seems easy enough. Trust the teachers to do the best for themselves and their students.

    Tom Whitby reports on adult learners in a blog post from a couple years ago. He says, according to Malcolm Knowles:

    1. Adults are internally motivated and self-directed
    2. Adults bring life experiences and knowledge to learning experiences
    3. Adults are goal oriented
    4. Adults are relevancy oriented
    5. Adults are practical
    6. Adult learners like to be respected

    From My Island View blog: https://tomwhitby.wordpress.com/2013/05/03/pedagogy-vs-andragog/

    So, yes, why don’t we trust them to do this in school settings when teachers are learning something new? It actually will be simpler and cheaper for districts to make opportunities that will facilitate adult-directed learning like Knowles describes.

    I’m glad you are facilitating great groups and encouraging growth with your blog and good questions.

    Regards,
    Denise

    Liked by 1 person

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