A Small Group of Thoughtful, Committed Educators

small group 1200x800
Joseph F. Johnson Jr., Ph.D.

Joseph F. Johnson Jr., Ph.D.

NCUST Executive Director

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world, indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

Margaret Mead

Recently, I had the opportunity to attend a book study organized and hosted by a group of teachers in the Salt Lake City Public Schools.  Teachers Elizabeth Holloway and Jessica Schroeder led the session that focused on Teaching Practices from America’s Best Urban Schools (2nd edition).  Over 20 educators from four local schools attended this event that began after the school day ended.  Liz and Jess thoughtfully organized the agenda and designed the activities to maximize the thoughtful engagement of all of the participants. 

While I observed these committed educators, I noticed three powerful factors that I believe influenced the success of this group:

  1. The participants acted as if they assumed that there was always an opportunity for them to improve and enhance their professional practice.
  2. The participants acted as if they believed that their learning would be enhanced if they worked together and learned together. They recognized the power of their collective experience and wisdom.
  3. The participants did not appear to be motivated by an obligation to comply with anyone’s expectations or adhere to any external system of accountability. Instead, they seemed driven by a sense of mission to serve their students (all of their students) well.

I left wondering how much more powerful all professional development efforts could be if they were designed to reinforce the same three factors.  I left thinking about how I could strengthen my efforts to support educators by emulating the principles that Liz and Jess seemed to have integrated so well into their book study events.  I have no doubts about the capacity of Liz, Jess, and their Salt Lake City colleagues to change the world.  They are already beginning to change the worlds of the students they serve each day.

Share this post

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email
%d bloggers like this: