In my news feed this week, there have been a number of “best of” and “worst of” articles. It happens every year at this time. But, this year is a little different since it’s also the end of a decade. In addition to the best and worst of the year, there are plenty of the best and worst of the decade articles.
I’m a sucker for these type of articles. I seldom agree totally or seldom disagree totally with them. In many ways, that’s probably a good thing.
I can’t help but think though…
- it’s a chance for those who have never entered a classroom as a teacher to pontificate on what works and what doesn’t
- it’s a chance for those who work on commission or $/article to make their quota without too many bumps in the road; these articles are expected of them
- it’s a chance for those who get sponsored by technology to promote their meal ticket and to put down the technology that’s not paying them
- it’s a chance for me to read about technology or pedagogy that had escaped me the first time around
- it’s a chance to reflect on things that have gone away or are still in use
While I read these stories, they really are non-stories for me. I’m not going to change my approach or thoughts based on the words of someone who isn’t writing from a practical, informed perspective. So often, the topics that make these lists are pandering to people that are looking for ammunition for or against something. But they can lead me to the water…
In education, I can wrap up my thoughts about “Best of” and “Worst of” into one concept – Professional Learning opportunities.
The “best of” lies with school districts that continue to support teachers with professional learning opportunities at the board level. They support educators by allowing for opportunities to learn with others throughout the province by supporting attendance at conferences or other professional learning events. As we all know, often the best takeaway from these events are the connections that are made and endure.
The “worst of” resides with districts that have stopped providing funds and opportunities for growth. At the same time, they’ll be talking about how progressive and forward thinking/planning they are. Are they really?
If I had one hope for 2020, it’s that there’s a realization that great things only happen when you invest in continuous learning and growth.
And I hope that you are part of it.