June has been as busy a month for professional development that I’ve ever had, period. A the beginning of the month, I spent time in St. Louis at PLC training. The following week, my teaching partner and I presented about our technology usage in our fifth grade. We also had the chance to attend quality sessions on technology in the classroom too (#TIC2012) And finally, I just completed a two day training on fact fluency and how to help students grasp their basic math facts. Add in watching the tweets from the Iowa Reading Conference (#iowareads) and the ISTE’s conference in San Diego (#iste2012), there’s a lot, a TON of information floating around!
Ok, to reflect on this would require many words, too many words in fact as I’d lose you, the reader, and would probably get a little lost myself! However, I can make one big connection here between these three: doing what’s best for kids!
We hear this thrown around constantly, “oh it’s what’s best for kids..blah blah blah” from merit pay to class size reduction to fundraising and everything in between. All of those things do have the right to stand in an educational conversation, I wouldn’t argue that. However, with these three trainings, I honestly feel each one of these are what’s best for kids. PLCs and technology, they go hand in hand. Who could argue that teachers working together, writing common assessments, looking at the data to help guide instruction, all the while plugging in (pun intended) the technology aspect, enriching curriculum. The work we go with as a group will help with that base level for many students, their basic facts. This certainly will be data that we can use to help guide math instruction, all the while using technology there to help stretch the minds of students who need it, all the while helping those who struggle find success.
Now, if “doing what’s best for kids” is to ring true, it has to be, it must be, followed through, period, from the classroom level all the way through! At this point in the game, the idea of closing the door and teaching seems to be that relic from the past, something to gaze upon with a nostalgia, yet, when we turn away, the work of the group continues. Heck, I’ll be the first to admit, I’d love to close the door and teach. Some days, it would make my life much less stressful. Yet, it’s not about me, it’s about helping my students, all our students, move forward.
So, in the midst of all this stuff bouncing around in my head in jumbled mess, one guiding principle moves forward: doing what’s best for kids.
And that’s the way it should be, should it not?