Friday, December 11, 2015

So You're an Educator and You're Not Reading?

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With the amount of information available for teachers, it is just unacceptable to continue making uninformed decisions about what works in the classroom. Never before has so much information been available to improve your practice. 

Take your pick. There are articles, blogs, books, social media, and more. You can connect with other educators all across the globe to discuss ideas and learn from one another. And you can do it all from the comfort of your sofa.

And yet, there are still educators who are not growing and learning. They are still doing it the way it was when they were in school. Teaching as they were taught. They rest in their longstanding beliefs without testing them against research and new ideas.

In a recent Seth Godin post, Did you do the reading?, he suggested that the more professional your field, the more vital it is to read, think, and understand--to stay caught up. To stay current. We want teaching to have increased professionalism, right? We want to our field to be respected. We want our profession to shine.

So we need to make sure we are contributing to the profession. We need to behave like professionals. That means we are reading the important books in our field. It means connecting with other professionals who can push us and test our ideas. And it means reflecting on how our practices align with our beliefs.

It doesn't mean you're going to agree with everything you read. But if you aren't reading material that offers a viewpoint different than your own, how can you be sure of what you believe? My ideas are stronger when they are tested and hold true for me.

I realize if you are reading this post, you are probably among those who are growing and learning and moving our profession forward. You are doing the reading. You are connecting and seeking and innovating. I applaud you.

But teaching gets a bad wrap. Educators are under fire. And if that is going to change, we need to do everything we can to increase the professionalism among our ranks. I urge you to share what you're reading with other teachers in your school. Use your influence to lift others up and strengthen the profession. 

I believe ours is the most important profession. We need to treat it as such.

Question? How can we get more educators taking ownership for their professional growth? What should teachers be reading? I want to hear from you. Share your answer on Twitter or Facebook.

A few books on my reading list...

Book Love by Penny Kittle @pennykittle 

The Innovator's Mindset by George Couros @gcouros

Uncommon Learning by Eric Sheninger @E_Sheninger

What Connected Educators Do Differently by Todd Whitaker, Jeff Zoul, and Jimmy Casas

Some of my favorite blogs...

Connected Principals

Starr Sackstein

Ditch That Textbook

The Principal of Change

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