14 Mar Slice of Life: Expect and Accept a Lack of Closure #SOL19 #TWTBlog
I had the privilege to join sixty-five educators in Indiana this week. As I looked out into the audience before the session began, I had the oh-too-familiar butterflies in my stomach. I get them every time, even with teachers I have been collaborating with for years. The anticipation, the excitement, and the unknown all come together and begin the flutter. On this day the flutters were more like a jackhammer. I would only connect with these teachers for five hours. What can I say in five hours? What difference can I make in five hours? I usually have three to five years not five hours.
These questions were going through my mind as I looked over
“Expect and accept a lack of closure.”
Ruth Ayers, the Director of the The Lead Learner Consortium, was sharing norms with the group. This was the last norm.
I love this norm. This is what learning is all about! Professional development in any form should be about beginning a conversation and sparking new ideas. Learning should be leaving with more questions than when you arrived. Our profession needs to do a better job of sending this message.
Learning is messy. The zone of proximal development causes cognitive dissonance – cognitive dissonance – even the word sounds messy. Ruth’s norm sends the message that learning isn’t about getting information it is about thinking, connecting, questioning, and understanding. Learning isn’t about being right, remembering information, or meeting a standard. Learning is the love of problem solving, revising, reflection and understanding.
I plan to do a better job of setting this expectation in the professional development sessions I facilitate. I just might steal Ruth’s norm. I know it will help me slow down and realize I cannot cover everything. I hope it will also send the message that professional development is an interactive, dynamic experience. Educators should have the opportunity to grow their thinking together and know that learning happens over many moments in time, not one moment in time. The message that you will not be done learning and you might not feel comfortable after a day of learning is truly powerful. Thank you, Ruth Ayers for sharing your wisdom and respect for professional learning with me.
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