We did it! We had our first Pineapple PD experience today at OJCS. We have the extraordinary opportunity to be working with Silvia Tolisano, author of A Guide to Documenting Learning, and so used this as a launch into Pineapple PD. Mrs. Bennett bravely opened her classroom to a group of interested teachers who documented student learning during an inquiry lesson. I documented their Pineapple PD experience.
Mrs. Bennett shared that at first she was apprehensive about having other educators come in and see her teaching. She is of course far more comfortable with just her students. Well, today she invited a small group of teachers to come in and we all learned so much from both her and her students.
We all understand as educators how critical sharing ideas and working collaboratively is to our craft and our growth as professionals, and yet classroom visits haven’t been a platform for learning. What is it about teaching in front of other adults that brings feelings of discomfort? In an interview with Mrs. Bennett she shares the following:
It reminds me of a time when I was teaching a Grade 2 class dressed as a pirate (eye patch, parrot and all) and reading a story, when an educator from across the hall appeared in my doorway to take in the show. My first initial response to her seeing me as ‘Captain Keren’ was reticence, with a little dash of worry about what she would think. There is something very private about how silly, playful, animated and energized we get when we teach. We take risks in the name of engaging our students in deep learning. So, the question becomes, can we begin to take those same risks and show our passion for engaging students with others? Can we tear down the walls and invite others in? Of course we can, but we need to reframe what being observed means. We also have to deeply value what it means to our teaching and learning, and the teaching and learning of others. It makes us better at what we do! Your successes and expertise shared outward grows others. Being able to visit others and learn from them stretches us in new directions.
As we prepare to fully launch Pineapple PD at OJCS, I am thrilled that today’s experience was positive for all involved. I will continue to document our journey as we continue to reach for our North Stars.