This time around I talk about personal professional development.
Today's the first day of school for students. Summer vacation is but a memory, as now it's time for all of us to buckle down and do some serious learning.
Yes, I said "all of us." You may be a teacher, but you're not exempt from learning until you're dead. (And perhaps not even then, but I digress.)
There are many ways for teachers to expand their skills as teachers. There are inservices (well, at least the good inservices...), graduate courses, and more literature available for self-paced study than you can shake a stick at.
Of course there's another way, too. Remember all of the times a teacher has asked a class to write a report on something? Did that teacher honestly need to know more about that subject, or did he or she want the class to explore the subject themselves?
I suggest that we, as teachers, should all write reports regularly in order to help improve ourselves. Now I'm not suggesting 50 page papers on Mediaeval France, unless of course you're that much into Mediaeval France. Rather, I propose that we write shorter essays on educational topics at least once a week. Trust me, it doesn't take as long as you think to write up a single page of thoughts.
If you have a brainstorm and come up with several ideas at once, make a list and save them for later. I thought of two topics this morning before I came up with this one on the drive to work, but those other ones are safely recorded for future droughts of inspiration.
These essays could be kept private, but I hope that they wouldn't be. One of the basic tenants of education is the sharing of knowledge, and you don't need a doctorate to share concepts with your peers.
The only question is what media would best be used to share these essays with the world? It would have to be something easy to use, and something that would allow readers to give you feedback would be a plus.
I think I've heard of something like this somewhere. If only I could remember what it was...
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