Gathering Teaching Solutions
In a previous blog post I wrote about the reasons for opening up your school or district’s professional development to all K-12 teachers nationwide. One of the reasons mentioned stayed with me for a long time. That reason was, “What if a teacher in your school is struggling to find a solution to an issue in their classroom or with their student? And, what if the solution to that issue is held by another teacher, in another district?”
Basically, what I was suggesting was offering your professional development classes as an outlet for teachers from all backgrounds and school systems to share their ideas for unique or difficult situations. As I was thinking about this concept, I realized that there are more opportunities in which teachers can learn from each other. Continue reading to learn about other ways to gather teachers.
Many teaching-related organizations have statewide and/or nationwide conferences for teachers. Maybe, as an educator, you have attended one or two of these conferences? I know when I go to a marketing conference, I always come back invigorated with tons of new ideas and I hope you do too.
If you are new to teaching, still a student, or still looking for a teaching position, attending conferences is an excellent way to start connecting with experienced educators. In addition to pointing out any teaching openings in their district, these individuals can be wonderful mentors. Many of these individuals have already dealt with a variety of difficult issues and have found or created solutions to them.
Another benefit of connecting with individuals from across the state or nation has to do with the concept of saving face. Saving face is a concept talked about in many sociology classes and is a value in many Asians cultures. But let’s be honest, I think this is a pretty universal value. The basic idea is that individuals will use different strategies to avoid humiliation or embarrassment and to preserve their reputation. You can read more about this concept in this Psychology Today article titled, Saving Face.
The key takeaway here is that connecting with individuals who are not in your school or district is a strategy you can employ to “save face” when you are struggling or need solutions.
Do you have a favorite conference you like to attend? Tell us in the comments below.
Zoom is everywhere and everyone seems to know how to use it. From Kindergartners to the aging population, nearly everyone has participated in at least one Zoom meeting in the last year or so. Now that everyone seems to know how to use it, and many teachers are very close to Zoom experts, we should take advantage of that for use in our professional development classes.
Let’s invite other school districts be a part of and share knowledge with our teachers during our professional development. Let’s have Zoom large or small group sessions with other school districts facing similar issues. Maybe, even create learning sessions with other school districts who have found solutions to some of our most pressing issues.
What other ways can we use Zoom to assist in making connections and finding solutions? Let us know your ideas in the comments below.
Yes, I said it… let’s use social media to connect with each other and learn new ideas.
I admit, this is not a new idea. Teachers have been using social media for a long time. What I really want to talk about is the idea of using Podcasts and YouTube as a medium for teachers to connect with each other, find quality content, and solve real-life classroom issues.
The Office of Teaching and Learning has a YouTube channel that we are working to create more videos for both NDSU faculty and K12 educators.
One person alone would struggle to make a Podcast or YouTube channel a success without the help of other teachers.
Because the challenge is having enough time. It takes a significant portion of time to create engaging content, edit audio/video, post the content, and follow up with comments. In addition to creating the content, that individual needs to stay active in their field so that they can provide the best content possible. So, my thought is, our Office of Teaching and Learning channel should serve as the quality source of information for educators from North Dakota (and possibly nationwide).
If you have content you would like to share with more educators, consider partnering with the Office of Teaching and Learning to create a recording. Contact me to discuss creating a video.
Do you have other ideas for connecting and solving teaching issues? I would like to hear them, post them in the comments below.
About the Author
Connie Jadrny, is the marketing and public relations coordinator for NDSU Distance and Continuing Education, a program of the Office of Teaching and Learning.
In more than 15 years at NDSU, Jadrny has learned a lot about the professional development needs of K-12 teachers.
In this series of posts, she intends to pass along bits of wisdom from the professional development industry.
Let’s learn together!