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Monday, August 07, 2017

Building a Positive Teaching/Learning Community: Research in Action

Initial summer research focused on big education ideas and future think helping me to ensure that the teaching/learning focus is alined with what it means to prepare students for the future with equity and effective effort. Posters at the bottom of the page will lead how I embed that research into my daily practice with colleagues and students.

Research this week is focused on effective community building and team. Following advice from Chris Emdin in his book, For White Teachers. . . as I read and study this week, I'll look for ways to co-construct a strong, respectful, collaborative, caring, family-like learning/teaching team this year. I'll read the rest of Emdin's book (last year I read and with colleagues embedded the first four chapters into the teaching community). I'll also read Tribe with a focus on how we're building a deep community that represents the values of strong communities over time, and I'll read Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates. When reading Coates book, I'll compare his upbringing to mine to make the reading memorable, and then I'll think about how I might teach a child with experiences similar to Coates and so dissimilar to my own experience.

Once the research is complete, I'll think deeply about how that reading will impact our grade-level's efforts to develop orientation events to build a more culturally proficient, welcoming teaching/learning community with our students, their family members, colleagues, administrators, and broader community members. Last year we began this work, and this year we'll build on what we learned last year via both successes and challenges.

I love the kind of growth and development work of education--the kind of work that profits from research, collaboration with colleagues near and far, creating and enriching learning experiences, assessment of our efforts, reflection, and continued growth. This is the garden that is school--a garden we continually weed, prune, plant, and develop to serve and lead our students and schools in ways that matter.