It is always a blessing when students are able to attend professional learning opportunities for their teachers. There is a different accountability to everyone in the room when the students are watching. Any time I have students join any professional learning opportunity that I deliver, I always ask for feedback, as I am doing my best to try and support their learning, and if I am off course, then I need them to give me direction.
Recently I had a group of students join a session that I delivered, and their feedback was very positive of what I had shared. As I sat with them over lunch, one of them made this comment:
“If teachers are learning about all of these new and awesome things on these (professional learning) days, why is the teaching still the same in our school?”
That blew me away.
This was not meant to be said in a negative way to the student’s teachers, but why did they not see the growth from their teachers?
Is it that we are bad at follow up? Are we not providing accountability to our students in what we are doing? Are the changes incremental that the students do not notice subtle differences?
I am not sure if I have any solutions, but this is one suggestion I have. After professional learning days, educators should share what they learned, and what they are going to do moving forward with their students. Not only does this model to our students that we are learners, but it creates an accountability to the people we ultimately serve. This accountability is important not only for the people that are learning, but those that are also delivering the opportunity to the group.
A nice reminder is that even when you think the students aren’t paying attention, they always are.
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