Well, it’s summer. A time for rejuvenation. A time for reading. Up first for me was “Results Now” by Mike Schmoker. A very good read. It really re-energizes and points out that it’s time for the isolation of teaching (education) to end. And I guess that is a big part of our premise here. This is one more attempt to break down the barriers of isolation and provide for some meaningful discussion amongst educators.
Results Now focuses on leadership and the governance of schools. However, the underlying issue is that the only way to improve the results that a school will see is to focus on the teaching and learning in each and every classroom. Mr. Schmoker makes an impassioned case that what must matter is what is happening in the classroom. To that end, the most important thing that can happen is for teachers to truly talk to each other. Not talk as in “Hey, hows ya doin?”, but talk as in comparing tests results from the students sitting in front of the teachers. This is a huge culture shift. Are teachers ready to start having their students take the same test as the kids down the hall and then comparing the results? Even more important, do we have any choice? Is there a moral imperative to do so?