I've been doing some writing as of late, so I figure I might as well post some of my musings here. Feel free to agree or disagree. Comments are always welcome.
I tend to think of teachers in the same way that I think of doctors. Doctors treat patients who may or may not follow the advice of the doctors. Teachers are like that, we have very little control over our student’s lives while they are away from us.
Most people remember their teachers, both the good and the bad. We all had good teachers that molded us as human beings and made us want to be better. We all also had “bad” teachers. The difference is that we can go to other doctors for second opinions if we do not believe our doctors. Or we can switch doctors entirely. Students often do not get a choice as to what teacher they get. That’s why it’s imperative to have good teachers. Most people respect teachers, but also recall the bad teachers they had. To improve the teaching profession we need to have strong teacher support programs to help teachers who are having problems. The use of rounds and critical friends protocols could help all teachers improve their methods.
I try to model the use of rounds at my current school. My colleagues and I have committed ourselves to this. We observe each other and provide feedback to each other. I would encourage all teachers to take part in the rounds process. By observing others we often learn something about ourselves. I would also encourage teachers to share lessons with one another in a critical friends setting. Through the use of critical friends, educators might find help with the planning of lessons. This “extra set of eyes” on a lesson in the planning stage might be able to spot problems before they emerge.