Since we were small, we have been learning new behaviors through the practice of observation. It's no surprise, then, that most teachers will adopt those practices that they experienced while they themselves were a student. The question to think about though, it whether those teaching practices we remember from our 7th grade Science class years ago are still applicable and meaningful today. It is important for us as teachers to MAKE TIME to go visit other teachers and see what current practices are being used. Chances are the same great practices we remember from our favorite teachers haven't changed much, but there is much to be learned from watching the effectiveness of our peers. I am astonished at how much I learn every time I walk into one of my colleague's classrooms. Even if the lesson wasn't particularly effective, I find myself getting new ideas for room arrangement, classroom management, and developing my relationships with students. If your school doesn't have a protocol for observation already, consider inviting interested teachers to a lunch where you can map out everyone's schedule and find out what kinds of things teachers want to know about. Oftentimes you'll find you don't have to spend the big bucks to go to an expensive, outside professional development. Much of our knowledge on teaching practices can be found right inside our school walls.
Idea No. 455