Friday, July 10, 2009

Enabling vs Helping

  1. A valid questions was posed by Scott McLeod today - Are our training efforts helping educators or enabling codependence? I often wonder if I’m enabling my staff as their in-house technology trainer. And I, too, wonder at times why they can’t just read a handout. However, these thoughts always come back to me:

    1) Teachers have learning styles just like students do. While most have learned to compensate in most situations, when they’re out of their comfort zone some of them need to “see” or “do” – not just be told how or read a handout.
    2) Just because some people don’t choose to learn what I teach doesn’t mean they’re not a self-learner or life-long learner. There’s a lot of stuff to learn out there…
    3) If I have to choose between my teachers putting their time and energy into students or into a handout/procedure I can easily show them, I want that time going to students – every time.
    4) Teachers’ frustrations are a great teaching tool. Whenever someone gets frustrated trying to read a handout or learn a new procedure I ask them to take a moment and remember this feeling the next time a student doesn’t “get it”.

    So, while I completely agree that there needs to be accountability for professional learning, I ask that we maintain a measure of understanding that those teachers then become learners who might have a variety of needs – just like our students.