Thursday, December 13, 2018
Some say a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, perhaps a chart might be a way to improve classroom teaching...with the help of dozens of other teachers.
Take a quick peek at the photo below. What do you see?
First, you might notice that the chart has a silhouette of a pineapple.
As indicated by teacher extraordinaire Jennifer Gonzalez, the pineapple is a symbol of hospitality. This photo is taken from her wonderful blog posting entitled: "How Pineapple Charts Revolutionize Professional Development." https://www.cultofpedagogy.com/pineapple-charts/ (The photo itself, on the blog "The Cult of Pedagogy," comes from Gator Run Elementary School in sunny Florida.) As used in educational circles, the pineapple serves as a welcoming invitation to host other teachers to visit classroom spaces for informal observations of your teaching.
Second, the pineapple chart invites teachers to share in a community of teaching by learning in connection with each other. The pineapple chart represents one week's worth of classes. Teachers who are interested in opening up their classroom spaces for informal observations simply fill out one of the available spots with name, subject, time, and classroom location (and even sometimes a description of the agenda),
Third, find a common location for the pineapple chart. Even better, make it a heavily trafficked prominent location. You might consider locating the pineapple chart in your mailroom or student affairs office or even on the walls of one of the main corridors of your law school building. In short, make it easy for people to sign up.
Fourth, participate. We are all members of learning communities.
Now, I realize that it takes great courage to open yourself up to others, especially to others to observe your teaching. But, I often find that it's in the courageous things of life in which I grow best. So, let go of being all alone in your teaching and instead invite others to participate with you in improving your classroom teaching. And, for the rest of you yet to sign-up for observations, make yourself available and present to observe your colleagues as they freely open up their workspaces to you. That takes courage too. And, please know that we all have so much to learn from each other.
Let me be frank. I suspect that this simple pineapple chart might radically change your learning community for the better, or, in the words of blogger Jennifer Gonzalez, might "revolutionize" your professional development. That's something worthy of sharing with others. (Scott Johns).