Outside experts, exhausted educators

Schools are deluged with consultants promising to explain Common Core standards, writes Peter DeWitt, an elementary school principal, in Ed Week.

Greg, who now teaches in Australia, suggests schools should just say no to outside experts and professional development.

“I’d like to challenge any school to go “consultant free” and “PD free” for 4 years. Imagine that? Just focus on being consistent and positive, providing quality teaching and communication with the community. I’d bet that school would do better than all the rest.”

Educators are trying to learn too much and do too much, writes DeWitt.

In addition to implementing the changes that are being forced upon us . . . some of us are flipping our parent communication and faculty meetings, researching ways to improve our leadership practices, or diving into old data to see what we need to change about our instruction.

At the same time we are doing our own learning . . . we have to engage in trainings and professional development to learn about the changes that are being forced upon us.

It’s exhausting. Greg’s advice — a holiday from consultants and professional development — might enable schools to get more done with less stress, DeWitt concludes.

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  1. Obi-Wandreas says:

    The worst part about all the PD is the universally low quality. Most of the time, it requires sitting through one brain-dead dolt after another, most of whom proudly anounce that they once taught (for 2 years, a decade ago), each of whom proudly announces that their product/service/method is “research-based,” but couldn’t actually tell you anything about that research if their lives depended on it. Most things labeled as ‘new’ are simply recycled under a different name. All the while, you’re thinking about the real work you could be doing if you weren’t sitting there wasting your time.

    It is a cliché that veteran teachers are jaded, and resistant to new ideas. One can only be told so many times, however to “just pet the porcupine, it won’t hurt” before you stop wanting to pet the porcupine.