Inching the Door Open

A recent blog entry on the Teaching Channel caught my interest. It was titled, “The Detriment of Teacher Isolation.” I have never considered myself an isolated teacher. I do spend a lot of time in my classroom with the door closed; however, I don’t feel isolated. Hallway discussions, conversations with colleagues, and great resources like ECNing and Edmodo provide a ready and rich support system for ideas and problems.

The blog entry did cause me to start thinking of the one way I have firmly kept my classroom door closed. I have never voluntarily invited a colleague into my room to observe my teaching. I provide professional development for my colleagues all the time, so they see my teaching skill and style. So why am I hesitant to open my door when my skills mean the most — when I am teaching my students?

I am scared. What if I mess up? What if the students act out? The flip side of this is what if I am missing something that someone could help me with? What if I can become a better teacher? And as they say, “No guts, no glory!” So, I am slowly inching my classroom door open. I shall invite a colleague into my room … or maybe I will videotape myself and ask colleagues to help me critique it. Either way, it will be done. How about you?


One Comment;

  1. Pat Wasley said:

    Robin, I loved your thoughtful response to my blog post and your invitation to others. Of course, most of us don’t feel isolated when we are teaching because there are so MANY kids and colleagues around. However, for me, the question of isolation is really related to the time and the ways in which I am afforded great feedback-some tough, some glowing-to help me get better as a teacher. I really believe that one of the things that makes teaching really great is that every one of us can always get better at what we do.

    I asked a colleague for some feedback yesterday on my performance, and I got real feedback. It wasn’t pretty either-but when I woke up this am, I realized it was honest and straightforward and-dang it-accurate. So, I believe I will be “better” today as I work to change that particular strategy. Let’s open those doors together and see if we can grow some new teaching muscle!

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