Learning From Your Colleagues

How often do you leave your classroom to go sit in another classroom? How often do other teachers come and sit in your classroom? I’m not talking about critiquing or evaluations. I’m talking about going and observing and getting ideas.

Are you a teacher that what you do is yours and no one else is allowed to use your ideas? Do you work with people that all of their ideas are theirs and they won’t share them with others? Why?

This past week I have been in some conversations with my coworkers as well as teachers in other schools about this idea. Some of the talk with my coworkers was about a teacher that one student taught with. The teacher did not share her projects with other teachers, however, she shared certain ones with one other teacher in the building. Is this expected? Why was everything a secret and all “hers”? Are we all not teaching students together? Why would you want to keep your successful lessons a secret?

Yesterday I met a Ryan Boeckman who teaches in the St. Louis, MO, metro. We have been talking through my personal learning network and had the chance to meet yesterday. We talked a little about each of our schools. My school has 70 students, his has 1,000. A little bit of a difference there. ha

What we really talked about though was the fact that some schools in his district has team walks. This is where the teachers have a chance to walk through classrooms of other teams and watch them teach. Get ideas, share ideas with each other. He was sharing about how his school is looking to start that as well.

I have always enjoyed walking into other classes and observing. Not just math either. I enjoy watching the students that I teach in other classrooms and subjects and see their interactions with one another. Students act differently in different classes. It gives us, the teachers, a chance to see students in a different light.

I hope that you are not a teacher that keeps your “stuff” a secret and share your great lessons as well as lessons that have failed. Sharing is caring. (Sorry, I had to bring back my preschool days.) Also, step into another classroom and see what you can find in other rooms.


About Anthony Purcell

I am Anthony Purcell and I am currently teaching math in Oklahoma.
This entry was posted in Math, Music, Personal Learning Network, PLN, Professional Learning Network, Reading, School, Teachers, Teaching, Writing. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Learning From Your Colleagues

  1. Daisy says:

    I’m a sharer. I love working with other sharers. A teacher down the hall was my mentor when I started 15 years ago; now she asks my advice. I still ask hers! Sharing is such a great way to grow as a teacher.

  2. I love to share and learn from others. That’s one reason I think the PLN is a great tool to making me a better teacher. I learned a lot just by talking educational philosophy with you yesterday and I think administrations need to make sure they stress the importance of sharing with staff and provide time to do so.

  3. GingerTPLC says:

    When this teacher told me she refused to share with others (and very explicitly told me that I would *not* have permission to take any of her ideas after my student-teaching experience), I knew that I had little respect for her. She told me this the first couple of days with her.
    I took what was good and ignored the rest of her “expertise,” knowing that she likely had other big ideas wrong.
    This was back in the early 90’s and the letters PLC and PLN had not come around yet. But professionalism had.

  4. Nancy Barth says:

    Before I retired two years ago, I was a resource specialist in a public school. I served students in their classrooms and also did some pull-out into mine. It was such a privilege to be in the other teachers’ classrooms–I learned many good things from them. I worked with brand-new teachers and others who were about to retire and everyone in between. We had a professional learning community. I can’t imagine NOT sharing. I do it still, only now the people I share with are far-flung and the internet is my ‘school.’

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