The day we came back from spring break a camera crew showed up at our building and we were named a “Lighthouse” school. As a former English teacher, I gotta say—I LOVE that metaphor. I love the notion of us learning how to do something, or how not to do something, and then helping others from the vantage point of experience. It’s a task that I think we are suited for.
Over the past three years I’ve given whole group, small group and one on one professional development to the staff at Owings Mills. The results are exactly what you think they might be. Some have taken to the notion of responsive teaching, some have struggled with the idea and some have dismissed it as the next buzzword. We fall across a continuum of current practice, all with the potential to grow and better serve students. For that, I am also excited.
As the status quo shifts, as we learn exactly what these Digital Natives know and don’t know, as we challenge our own notions of good teaching-- we get stronger. We stand now in the moment right after the before picture but a long way from the after shot. Over the next year you will get to see the process of our change. You will hear from teachers, administrators, parents and, of course, students. Pay attention to our successes and learn from our struggles. Your before picture was just taken too.