As an instructional technology specialist, part of my job is to conduct training for the teachers new to our campus. This week, we have had 20+ teachers at the school learning all kinds of things from campus culture to using technology in the classroom.
Much of that time has been spent together, sitting in a room and listening, sitting in a room and participating, sitting in separate rooms and backchanneling, etc.
My daughter and I watched a movie this week called All About Steve. Our favorite quote from the movie is this “I wear them because it makes my toes feel like ten friends on a camping trip.” This statement was made in reference to a bright pair of red boots worn by the lead character, played by Sandra Bullock.
Why did I just mention that? I was thinking this morning about that quote (my daughter posted it as her status on Facebook yesterday evening), and realized that I couldn’t let Cruel Shoes go without having that quote mentioned somewhere.
How does it relate to new teacher training? Part of the reason new teacher training is so vital is because of the bonding that begins during this week of summer, where 20 or so teachers – some of them beginning their very first year of teaching – are thrown together, like friends on a camping trip. They are building a shared experience that will continue throughout their employment at our school, and in some cases, throughout their lives.
Is it possible to create that same kind of environment in our classrooms? One in which every day seems to be an adventure and our students bond through shared experiences, even when those experiences are difficult?