Monday, March 17, 2014

Wrestling with Teacher Change

We have been transitioning to the Marzano Instructional Framework for the past three years. It hasn't been easy. Our conceptual understanding of the components have been evolving, but it has been challenging since the scores derived from it are part of our teacher evaluation system. I am reminded of the airplane commercial that shows the people building the plane while it is up in the air flying with passengers. Of course, the FAA would never allow it, but the DOE does? We are the experiment! You can't fly the plane while building it. Even though, they are already doing it in Europe, I will have to wait 2-3 years more until the Animas Vibe passes FDA approval in order to use it to treat my chronic disease. In education, however, there is no FAA, IRB or FDA to protect my students, my daughter or me. We will have to wait for ten years to see the results of of this educational experiment. 

What I know for sure is that I don't think that another face-to-face workshop or online class will help teachers get there. To really push forward we need an infrastructure change and a change in our mindset. We can't change the infrastructure, but we can control how we interact with our colleagues. We can't do it alone.  Each day I become more firmly convinced of that.  We need leaders who recognize the time it takes to make a change. We need models who can muddle through messiness of teaching. We need side-by-side coaching in our classrooms. We need someone to ask the hard questions. We need to watch and learn from each other. We need to plan thoughtfully together each of our strengths lifting one another. We need each other.


  1. Isn't that the truth. It is so often asked of us in education to "fly the plane while building it ". You have some wise advice.

  2. It does take hard questions and thoughtful conversations and a growth not a gotcha mind set--for all parties. I like what you come to at the end.


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