Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Ten Minute Teacher

Having teachers teach teachers is something schools should do more often. Often, schools don't properly utilize the talent which exists inside their walls. For example, schools usually bring in outside experts to lead in-service. Yes, it is right and good to bring in experts. But what about the experts within our buildings?

I fear that many teachers still see tech as an imposition, another thing brought from "outside". Other teachers feel that while it may be important, it is an add-on. A goal for me in my role as tech-integration specialist is to normalize technology.

In my ed-tech role, I've seen some terrific things in classrooms this year. Yet, most teachers don't know the great things some of their colleagues are doing both with and without technology. We need a way to celebrate these successes and highlight technology's successful use. We need a way to see what others are doing.

Borrowing an idea from +Keino Terrell, I've implemented a "10 Minute Teacher" program in the high school in which I work to address the concerns I list above. What do we do? We start every faculty meeting with a 10(-15) minute presentation by a teacher to other teachers. The presentation can be about integrating technology, but it also can be about a great lesson which does not include technolgy. We can talk about teaching writing, writing report card comments, or conducting a parent-teacher conferences. It also can be a forum for teachers to share information and resources that they may have discovered at a recent conference. Making each presentation not about technology, I believe, actually normalizes technology.

My plan is to film the presentations, archive the work digitally and tag the tools highlighted in each presentation. My hope is that in several months time, we will have the beginnings of a rich resource created by and for teachers. More importantly, we will be celebrating each other.

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