>The best teachers are lifelong learners.
At a staff development session the other night I was struck by the observation that none of us were new; every teacher in the conference room had at least 10 years of experience. Several had earned Masters’ degrees in education. We were all there to learn a developmental method of teaching word study, phonics, and spelling.
I learned a great deal. And as I left I wondered, where were the newbies? The rookie teachers, the ones who could implement this immediately and never look back at a spelling textbook in their entire career?
Unfortunately, we’re seeing a trend in recent graduates. They know it all. One, two, or three years into their careers, they know more than the reading teachers. They know more than the literacy coach, the professor who comes in for our collaboration grant, and the more experienced teachers.
Brand new teachers have several advantages: energy, enthusiasm, knowledge of recent brain-based teaching theories. They don’t, however, know more than the experts. And they certainly don’t know it all.
Maybe I should start thinking I know everything. It sure would be easier, wouldn’t it? I wouldn’t have to keep learning, spending time and energy and even money to find new ways to reach more children.
Nope. That last statement said it all. Finding new ways to reach more children is the reason teachers keep learning. I think I found my answer.
Now I’ll just watch and wait for the newbies down the hall to realize this, too. Maybe we can carpool to the next class in Words Their Way.