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aschoolyardblogger

Dave, I think as much as individual planning time teachers need the opportunity to work together. There are schools where a teacher could come in the morning and leave in the afternoon without ever talking to another teacher except briefly. There is not time to "shop talk". They can't be expected to learn, improve, innovate without comraderie. When they work alone and only gather for training or information meetings planned and directed by someone else you can't expect much in the way of spirit. In fact they do a fabulous job with spirit in spite of the way the system works. It just isn't the kind of spirit that learners need, it is the kind that says hey, we are mucking our way through this together because we love kids. The math program I worked with "bought" extra planning time for teachers. This was necessary because administrators and school boards didn't trust that they would use the time wisely. We never had an incident that would have proved them right. We had teachers reading, writing, visiting classrooms all because they could. The reason we had success was that teachers were treated with great respect. That respect transfered to the students and the students returned it tenfold. School board members were invited to see and hear, administrators invited. They all understood, but as our grant money ran out they became blind and deaf. Teachers are very easy to ignore because they have never developed the right voice. They don't realize that they ARE the education system.

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  • August 19 "The Many Connections Between Well-Being and Professionalism in the Practice of Law: Implications for Teaching", Association of American Law Schools, New York, NY

    January 21 "Resilience for Law Students, George Washington University School of Law, Washington, DC

    February 13-15 American Association of School Administrators National Conference, Nashville, TN