“The reading isn’t merely a book, of course. The reading is what we call it when you do the difficult work of learning to think with the best, to stay caught up, to understand.
The reading exposes you to the state of the art. The reading helps you follow a thought-through line of reasoning and agree, or even better, challenge it. The reading takes effort.”
What do we need to read to stay caught up in our profession?
The Ontario College of Teachers sets out the Standards of Practice for the profession in Ontario.
One of the Standards is Professional Learning:
Many leaders in education will tell you that they most certainly do know what to read to stay current, and to share with other educators. Books, research – all important to the foundations of our learning for our profession.
But we also must be willing to be disturbed in this thinking, because in 2015, we need to be much more agile and flexible in our learning, as thinking changes and innovation happens much faster than books can be published and research papers can be finished.
In choosing what to read, we have to consider,
“What is the core role of a teacher?”.
Our role is to ensure learning – that progressing toward learning goals – is happening. It is not okay for any child to be stuck and not learning.
We do not have to do this alone, but we have to ensure that we are doing everything we can for every single child in our care. We know our best practice. When that isn’t working, we have to find our next practice.
Finding our “next” practice: Our ability to share our practice with others has changed exponentially over the past decade. Our ability to find out what others are doing – the practices that are working elsewhere – now requires digital literacies, the ability and understanding of how to leverage online tools to access the curated stream of information that can lead to our next practice.
In the same way that we once had to learn to use the card catalog in the library, we now must know how to access digital spaces to find the content we need.
The reading list for educators has shifted.
The reading list now includes the blogs where other educators are sharing, and the tweets where other educators curate and share the information that is valuable to them in their professional practice.
And the culture is participatory.
If you are an educator, there is a moral obligation to use your digital literacies and share your practice with others, so that all of our students benefit from the collective work of our profession.