This week I am in Charleston SC at Porter-Gaud School meeting with about a dozen teachers from around the US and two teachers from Scotland. It’s a bit unusual in several ways. First the small size of the group. Secondly the diversity of the attendees. We have teachers teaching a variety of subjects and age groups. Some people work at the school wide or district wide level. Some are private school educators and some are at public schools. About half of the attendees have been involved in Microsoft’s Innovative Educators program and have been recognized for their excellence and innovation in teaching. A couple of us have been judges for the MIE Forums in the US.
Another big difference is that we spent the whole first day on introductions. Now most other meetings like this would have each person giving one or two minutes of introduction and then move on to some formal program. Today we had in-depth introductions. We talked about who we are and how we teach. We talked about our methods, our philosophies, and how what we do works in our particular environments. These were interactive introductions with questions and answers and conversation what went in interesting directions. It was fascinating!
We talked a good bit about using technology in teaching (something we all do) but we also talked about grading and assessment. Everyone agrees we need to know what students are learning. As one person put it “you haven’t taught it until they have learned it.” But grades? Well grades are no fun for anyone. This will be a big topic for discussion tomorrow.
The idea behind this conference (sort of an unconference but less formal) is that when you get good teachers together to learn from each other good things happen. Seems to be working.
In this picture: Jamie Ewing (elementary school art teacher)
@mrewingteach David Renton (Lecturer in Games Development at West College Scotland) @drenton72 Marie Renton (Depute Head Teacher Lochfield Primary, Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland) @Goldilocks1972 Doug Bergman (computer science teacher, Porter-Gaud School) @dougbergmanUSA