The Most Effective Teachers Have Much More To Learn

In Michael Pressley's final keynote address (given in 2006), he said what I've been thinking for years. Oddly, I didn't know that he had said it until today while learning more about a subject outside the realm of educational technology: Reading First.

Let me tell you about one of the most consistent findings in our interviews of teachers over the years. It is always the most effective teachers who have told us that they have much more to learn. They are always the ones seeking the professional development. The weaker teachers are often very confident that they already teach well. So, I think that rather than simply providing professional development, it may be necessary to select teachers who know they need to get better and are open to getting better, actively seeking ways to do so. (p. 6)
This experience and thousands similar have taught me that we have a lot to gain by extending ourselves beyond the comfortable. Sure, it may be easier to discuss that with which we are familiar, but it will likely be in moving beyond our field, that we finally encounter success.

What things could we learn by studying topics other than Twitter, Arthus, School Reform, and FBs?

(Not that there's anything wrong with these topics - I'm just sayin'. Isn't it possible that we need to get out a little bit more?)

  • Pressley, M. (2006, April 29). What the future of reading research could be. Paper presented at the International Reading Association Reading Research 2006 conference, Chicago, Illinois.
Image Source: Flickr user Stephen Poff

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