Do As I Say… Not As I Do

Most of the education courses and staff development I have participated in seem to follow the dictate do as I say, not as I do.

For example…

  • “You should vary activities” (Meanwhile we sit in the same spot for hours listening to the same speaker)
  • “You should integrate technology in your classroom” (Put your laptop away – you won’t need it)
  • “Don’t teach to the test” (What were your test scores and how are you going to raise them this year?)
  • “Differentiate your lessons” (As we all do the same thing, in the same way, at the same time)

I am sure many of you have other examples you could share…

Since I have the opportunity to help plan the staff development on my campus, I have tried to make the sessions more interactive and to give teachers choices… and most of the time this approach seems to get pretty good feedback from the staff.

This year we decided to take planning and integration a step further with the use of a wiki. We (me and about 6 other people) used the wiki to plan a large portion of the training, and we used it as a platform for our new teachers to access the day’s agenda and planning materials as well as introduce themselves and post the “products” they completed over the course of the four days.

The new teachers did an OUTSTANDING job using the wiki, and I think it worked well in the context of our planning and implementation of the training.  Just one more way to engage the learner (student or teacher) in the learning process.  Good job everyone!

Now we just have to finish planning the WHOLE campus staff development sessions.  This is what we have so far… any suggestions?

Explore posts in the same categories: Academy, Planning, Staff Development, Wiki

3 Comments on “Do As I Say… Not As I Do”

  1. Wendy DG Says:

    Your wiki idea is brilliant. The teachers are actively involved in their learning, you have an archive of the great ideas that take place over the training days, and teachers get more ideas about how to use wikis in the classroom since they’ve had the opportunity to practice with the tool. I wish I could participate in more PD activities like that. P.S. Thank you for the writing idea.

  2. I think what you’ve got on the wiki looks great. Truthfully, I’m ready to learn some new things…but I’m afraid I might be running out of new things to learn. Except I know that’s not possible. But I feel like I went through a large period of growth recently in terms of new technologies to utilize in the classroom, and that spike in my learning has dropped off quite sharply as of late. I’m hungry for more.

    In terms of “Do as I say,” I think the worst part about it is that many speakers actually ACKNOWLEDGE the fact that they aren’t practicing what they preach while they’re in the middle of their presentation. Drives me nuts.

  3. John Brown Says:

    As a former transgressor, now happily retired, I totally agree with your comments about “practice what you preach.” I think that you have done a marvelous job of practicing what you preach.

    I very much like the ideas on the wiki. They will help keep the school on track as an innovator in providing relevance in education. My only suggestion would be to do something that addresses more directly the objective of high school as a springboard to adult life rather than as academic preparation for test taking. The huge emphasis on test scores as the school year progresses tends to drown out the question, “What learning activities will best help our students enter adult life with appropriate skills, a set of meaningful life goals, and a solid launching point into that life?”

    “Making Learning Relevant” sort of gets at it, but doesn’t quite get there. Perhaps some involvement of the counseling staff might be considered?

    I really like that you have the courage of your convictions and are so willing to try things that might be a better way to do it.

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