By Lorena Kelly
How can we resurrect the passion of teachers given the current educational climate?
People become educators because of passion, internal drive, and through a desire to work with children, empower them, foster their learning. The passion and dedication that these teachers pour into their work is infectious.
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In my opinion, the current educational climate is smothering this spark in teachers. With teacher effectiveness and evaluation instruments in the forefront, the pressure has certainly increased and the publicity surrounding education is often negative.
Significant changes have taken place, paradigm shifts are occurring, and teacher preparatory programs, divisions, and administrators are trying to keep up with the demands.
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Lesson Study is a powerful form of professional development. It provides teachers with an opportunity to plan, observe, and analyze instruction with a focus on student learning. The power is in the process that encourages educators to closely examine their practice through the lens of student learning. It inspires us to improve our craft in a supportive, collaborative environment.
The contrasts between Lesson Study and traditional forms of professional development are sharp.
- Lesson Study puts teachers the heart of the learning experience. They are treated as professionals, examining their craft as many other professions do and have done for years.
- Lesson Study treats teachers as specialists and provides the opportunity to reflect and refine their craft. I have participated in Lesson Study as a teacher, facilitator, and a knowledgeable other. I have seen the changes it can make in a classroom, building, and division.
Including teachers in a professional learning experience like this, rather than sessions where they are passively receiving information about best practices, can have remarkable results. Educators need to have the opportunity to shine as strong, effective professionals. Consider how you can provide fuel for their fire and keep their passion burning as you plan.