Sunday, April 13, 2014
Stealing the hubcaps off of wheels is really okay. Honest, it is! I know it may sound odd for a teacher to encourage stealing. But, hear me out and you may encourage it as well!
Teachers never have enough time. Between planning lessons, preparing for lessons, grading papers, communicating with parents etc, there are never enough hours in the day. It is that very reason that we must identify ways to work more efficiently.
Stealing the hubcaps might just be the answer.
Planning effective lessons takes time. It can be time well spent because the payoff can be immense. But, it doesn't always have to be time intensive. Instead, focus on making connections. There are so many ways to connect with other teachers that teach the same content as you do... colleagues in your building and members of your PLN on Twitter are just two options available to you. If they teach the same content, odds are they are writing similar lesson plans. Unfortunately, while they may teach the same content, they don't teach the same students, which can make it difficult to incorporate their ideas. But, what if you just stole the hubcaps, instead of the entire wheel?
You know your students, and are acutely aware of effective ways to tailor your instruction for maximum impact. On the other hand, your colleagues and PLN do not know what makes your students tick. This is why you need to take just the hubcaps, and mold the most effective wheel around those hubcaps. It's not stealing, actually, for teachers do not actually steal. They just find ideas that work for their class, and tweak them to make them fit.
Embracing this concept will take some humility, because it means admitting that some of these ideas are not your own. Would you be willing to admit this fact instead of spending countless hours trying to reinvent the wheel? I know I would!