Sunday, April 3, 2016

What do we need to STOP doing?

Did you know that there's an official Spring Cleaning Week? Spring Cleaning in homes has been traced back to different origins, but it marks a season where windows and doors can be opened to enjoy the pleasant weather and beautiful growth outdoors. It's a time to wash, shine, dust, and de-clutter.

Even though the official week has passed (March 14-20, 2016), it marks a good time for us to discuss the need to de-clutter our teaching lives. It's a good time to reflect and decide if there are some things we need to STOP doing as educators. 

The weekly twitter chat I co-host, #ALedchat, is discussing this topic this week. We "meet" each Monday night for a discussion with educators from across the globe, and we would love to hear from you this week about what you think we need to STOP doing as educators. 

Here are some suggestions to get your wheels turning. Some of these will be in question form in the #ALedchat twitter chat. 

What do you think about stopping....

  •      Semester or final exams
  •      Turning in lesson plans
  •      One-size-fits-all PD
  •      Assigning grades
  •      Assigning homework
  •      No teacher collaboration time built into school schedule
  •      Giving student awards for Honor Roll
  •      Teacher evaluations based on student test scores
  •      "Grading" homework for "completion"
  •      Teachers being the sage on the stage
  •      Meetings to deliver information that could be delivered via email
  •      Classrooms that never publish work for a public audience
  •      Ideas that technology in schools will go away
  •      Underestimating the power of what we do each and every day


Everyone is welcome to join us Monday nights 9-10pmCST for #ALedchat.  We value the insights, perspectives, and experiences of those in our PLN.

**Here’s a time converter to assist all of you around the globe in converting 9pm CST to your local time. 

TIP: If you have never done a twitter chat before, you may find it helpful to go to and enter the hashtag #ALedchat. Sign in with your twitter account. The website will "filter out" all of the other tweets except for the ones with the hashtag #ALedchat. The website will automatically add #ALedchat to your tweets, and you will see a scrolling list of tweets from the chat on the page. (P.S. The hashtags are NOT case-sensitive.)

I'm one of the founders and hosts of this chat. If you have any questions, feel free to email me

Everyone is welcome. I hope you will all join us Monday night for #ALedchat.

1 comment:

  1. Lesson plans are like recipes. I never follow them as written. Instead, my teaching is much more organic.

    When I decide to prepare a meal or a dish, I think of what I want the experience from start to finish to entail. I'll read 2-5 recipes and imagine the final result and use that information to shape my meal. I think of prep time, pantry items on hand and those I may need to buy. I consider time available, those eating and their special tastes and aversions. Then I think of what I want the meal to taste like and how long we will have to share the meal. My least favorite part is clean up but that factors into the recipe too.

    As I cook, I'm constantly tweaking the recipe as I go. Sometimes I leave out an ingredient in favor of another option. Often, I'm told at the last minute that guests will be coming or a family member will not be at the table. I adjust my plans as new information becomes available. Maybe I now need the main dish to feed 10 instead of 4 or maybe 10 turns into 2. My recipe idea may completely shift. No mater what, everyone will be fed. Even if I end up being a short order cook to one at the table

    Lesson plans waste time. I don't prepare meals based on a single recipe. Nor do I teach from a lesson plan. I use experience, am flexibile, follow constraints, add creativity, consider needs/wants, etc. Only then can I deliver a meaningful lesson (meal).

    I would love to eliminate lesson plans as a weekly todo item. Let me submit samples of lesson plans for documentation, but otherwise come to my classroom and see what we do. Sometimes you may see a worksheet which is the equivalent to a TV dinner or fast food, but most of the time you will see something more inventive going on.