Sunday, September 20, 2015

Collegial Share: Inundated

When I ran across a piece of valuable math education information today, I was hesitant to share with colleagues. My hesitation grew from the fact that my colleagues and almost everyone else in the world is inundated with  information today. I could imagine the sigh and response when they saw the post in their email, "Not another education article or link!"

Yet I did send the information because it's so important with regard to teaching students math well. We've got a lot to do in that arena in order to meet children where they are using our multiple resources, staffing, and tools well. The opportunity at hand for dynamic math education is amazing.

What do we do about information share?

Many systems continue to host the same share patterns that they had thirty years ago when I began teaching including a few inservice sessions during the year, some pull-out professional training, a newsletter from the leaders in charge of curriculum, and faculty meetings. New additions for share and collaboration include websites, PLCs, and email exchange. I know that some schools are using Twitter and other venues for share. We tried a shared blog at our school but it didn't catch on.

How does your school share information so that it's helpful, but not overwhelming? Do you share in ways that are inclusive so that everyone gets to learn of good ideas? When was the last time your team discussed professional learning and share, and have your patterns for professional development changed given all the terrific share tools available? Also, in what ways does the "cream rise to the top" when it comes to teaching and learning ideas and practice? Do you have a shared way of curating content and information, a way that's inclusive, current, and open to revision as research and resources evolve?

I like to get good ideas. I like to update practice to reflect the best information out there, and I like to know what my colleagues are doing as well as what they believe in. I'm wondering what they would say if the question was posed, "What are the best ways for our school to promote inclusive, research-based collegial share?" Time may tell.