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Wednesday, April 13, 2016

What Will Help You to Teach Well?

As you think about your teaching and learning environment, what will help you to do a better job?

Educators at multiple levels with a diversity of experiences will probably answer this question differently?

Dependent on age, role, and experience, our needs often differ.

Yet, there are some common denominators that I can think of including the following:
  • Educators in all locales deserve a fair pay, enough money to live a good life and take care of their loved ones without the need to work multiple extra jobs. (I do receive a fair pay and that allows me to do good work)
  • Educators need time-on-task for collaboration, planning, and learning design. That work is important and when it's relegated to an educator's after hours work, it doesn't happen with the strength or potential possible.
  • Open, regular, transparent communication is essential to running good systems. When information is not forthcoming, late, or incomplete, education systems and potential suffer.
  • New initiatives require substantial lead time, thought, and detail to work well. When new initiatives are last minute, not well thought out, and less communicated, they become a challenging add-on rather than positive change.
  • Adequate, updated supplies and resources and opportunities are important when it comes to creating the kinds of learning communities that best support students.
  • Family friendly policies that allow educators to take care of their loved ones and still do a good job at work are important. 
  • Fair rules and protocols that treat all employees fairly no matter their culture, race, gender, age, or experience are similarly important.
I'm sure that there are other factors that can be added to this list. Every work place has the potential to develop an environment that supports all employees well. Where I work there is much in place to support good teaching, and I have a few ideas about how we can better our environments too to do this.

What do you currently value about the environment where you learn and teach? What constructs help you to do the job well with and for students? Where do you see room for change and growth? It's important to keep the conversation going in respectful, honest, and forward thinking ways so that we continue to develop strong, thoughtful, dynamic organizations. These kinds of organizations help us to teach children well.