In a recent phone conversation (via Skype) with Paul Allison, Paul mentioned he had been asked by the NWP to think about ways to continue supporting and providing teachers with professional development opportunities for integrating technology into their teaching practice. His concern is for the teacher who already has a start in that direction, and wants more (like me:-). I realized after finishing our call that he already has the model in place. His Wednesday evening Teachers Teaching Teachers Skyepcast is an hour’s worth of sharing ideas, questions, ramblings, and possibilities within an online community of like-minded educators.
In my search for the Teachers Teaching Teacher link, I stumbled upon a great post by educator, activist, writer, and teacher advocate Linda Christensen of Rethinking Schools. In reading through her Teacher Quality: Teachers Teaching Teachers article, I am reminded of the power of the TTT model. I’m pulling one paragraph, but, truly, the entire article a excellent read.
“During my seven years as a curriculum specialist designing professional development in Portland Public Schools, I wanted teachers to see themselves as curriculum producers, as creative intellectuals rather than technicians serving out daily portions of someone else’s packaged or downloaded materials. I attempted to create spaces where teachers could work together to develop their own curriculum and discuss education issues. “
Four years ago, I sat in a training at my county office of education and listened to a “curriculum expert” (a former PE teacher who had never actually taught ELA) hype the power of the newly adopted ELA text and program. I remember feeling physically ill when she told us to go back to our districts and site and tell teachers to “put away their favorite units.” At some point in her presentation, she used the term “teacher-proof” lessons. Four years later, it’s still a struggle and juggling act for many teachers to dodge the curriculum police, but they are doing it. While they appreciate the additional materials made available through a textbook adoption, they continue to craft their lessons to meet the needs of their students. They find support, validation, and inspiration through the TTT model.