Teachers: Go to happy hour. It’s good for your teaching. (But limit the mandatory griping to less than 50% of the discussion.)
Roxanna Elden, author of See Me After Class, one of my highly recommended reads for new teachers, says sharing best practices works when teachers chat with other teachers. Happy hour is a ripe environment for exchanging ideas. With little or no time in the school day for many teachers to talk about their craft, an enjoyable social outing is a perfect opportunity.
She is right. Most of her post “The Worst of ‘Best Practices” (originally on Rick Hess’ blog for Ed Week) delineates the soul-sucking hyper-bureaucratic chain of official best-practice sharing, which after extreme dilution, teachers end up with jargon-ladled materials created by third-parties, and are then pushed to present evidence of usage a dog-and-pony show of implementing the lifeless, decontextualized “best practices” forced on them.
Eech. I’ll have a Guinness. Actually, better make it a Jack Daniels. Now tell me, how did you get your kids so into that book? Their writing about it on the bulletin board was awesome. I’m getting tripped up in my class trying to get my students to revise their work. What kind of stuff do you do to help them build those habits? Have you read any PD books that really helped you?
Next round is on me!