Published on Real Clear Education, April 20, 2016, by Multi-Classroom Leader Sharon Archer
We’ve all heard the saying, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks,” but how many of us have actually stopped to wonder why? Is the dog just apathetic? Insecure in his ability to learn? Unsure of the goal? Maybe the greater question to ask is, “Why not?” With the right motivation, feedback, love, and support, I could have my 13-year-old black lab, Linus, rolling over by sunrise. This, however, can only happen with the right approach—from someone who has taken the time to get to know Linus and understands why he’s not rolling over already.
Unfortunately, in the ever-changing world of education, too many people believe our veteran teachers are unwilling to change—or are even incapable of learning “new tricks.” As an Opportunity Culture multi-classroom leader in New York’s Syracuse City School District, I have found that could not be further from the truth. I’ve been fortunate to work with several veteran teachers, some with more than my 15 years’ experience, and watched them challenge themselves, growing into better teachers who feel professionally renewed. [Read more…]