August 31, 2011

My Open Door Policy

My first year of teaching was terrifying. I'm sure that I've mentioned this in previous blog posts. Many things contributed, but the main were:
1. Being a new teacher and having to "prove" myself. That of course meant that I had to complete the school year with no help from my colleagues.
2. A TERRIBLE student teaching experience. Talk about being set up for failure.
Now, I like to believe I've come a little way from then. I'm going into my 5th year, which in no way makes me a veteran. However, I feel as though I'm trying interesting things in my classes that my fellow teachers could benefit from seeing. Therein is the main reasoning for my open door policy. How are we going to share our knowledge, techniques and approaches without sharing them? I don't lose my autonomy and control by letting others see my work.
There may be people who do not agree with my approaches, but I would love to know why. How else will I learn?
The other reason for an open door policy? The more you hide, the more people become suspicious of what you are doing. I make my classes as transparent as possible to students, parents, admin, and other teachers. The more information I provide, the less questions I have to answer. Also, the less I end up having to defend my decisions.
Bottom line. Open your doors and share your world. Don't try to keep the phenomenal things you do a secret.
I would love to hear other peoples' thoughts on this - comment away!

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