Thursday, 30 May 2013

Conversations for Learning—Part 2

Professional development gained through the sharing of teaching philosophies and practice has always been and will continue to be invaluable for me. Sharing of activities, viewpoints, and new developments presented at conferences or teacher professional development days allow teachers and administrators alike to question, challenge and look to implement new ways of thinking, learning, and leading in 21st Century educational institutions. Undoubtedly, collegiality and collaboration can be enhanced at any school to ensure teachers benefit from their experiences and continue to enhance their careers. Indeed, inspiration and development helps foster a vital connection between teacher development and school improvement.

A competing viewpoint involving school improvement resonates when collegiality means that shared decision-making, requiring extra time to collaborate, takes place. In some instances, leaders will have the tough role of realizing they will have to make a judgment for the rest to follow whether people agree or disagree. Leaders have a tough job.

In conclusion, shared decision-making is intended to foster change, which can, in turn, generate conflict. As teachers/administrators, we all agree that changes need to be made in order for our careers to reflect the professionalism we are entitled. In this regard, teachers must stand up for what they need. As, James Gorman, British Columbia Deputy Minister of Education stated, we need to continue to question and challenge the status quo because you don’t know if you can get away with it if you don’t try it; ask for forgiveness later. This statement is inarguable in light of the student’s best interest.

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