Getting to “Let Me Try”
As the model for implementing NEXTschool evolves, one of the key questions being asked is “What do teachers need in order to realize the NEXTschool vision?” One of the schools working on its implementation has identified that creating a ‘Let Me Try’ culture is vital.
What is a ‘Let Me Try’ culture?
Teachers need dedicated time and resources to try new ideas and approaches in their practice as well as a supportive, collaborative and safe environment in which to do so. In a ‘Let Me Try’ culture, school leaders ‘let go’ and give teachers the freedom to try new approaches, make mistakes and try again. The NEXTschool vision involves an iterative process that works through a series of prototypes, or ‘tryings’ before settling on what works best for each school and its community. The ‘Let Me Try’ culture reduces fear of failure and empowers teachers to take on new challenges as they arise, with creativity and intention.
What can schools do to create a ‘Let Me Try’ culture?
Providing consistent time in the schedule for teacher cohorts to learn and grow professionally together is an essential component of the NEXTschool framework that helps to facilitate this culture. Once the cohort has been identified and regular time carved out, the teachers (with the help of a facilitator) design a model of learning together to create a cycle of comfort, confidence and competence. As the teachers gain comfort and trust as a team and develop a shared vision of growth and support, their confidence builds. And with confidence comes enhanced competence; and with enhanced competence, comes confidence – a beautiful ongoing cycle of growth.
Professional Development expert Megan Webster, PhD describes high quality professional development as “one of the greatest levers for social change”. In her interview with the editor of LEARNing Landscapes (2015), (video version here), Megan asserts that the long-term commitment of people who work together on specific areas of practice is the key to high quality professional development and ultimately, enhanced student learning and engagement. She emphasizes that “if teachers are learning and growing, [students] will be learning and growing”. In addition, Megan promotes professional development that encourages going from ‘private practice to public practice’ where teachers become comfortable co-teaching, investigating and designing excellent practice together, observing each other enact new practices and giving feedback for ongoing improvement.
It is precisely this culture of shared and intentional learning that NEXTschool promotes and facilitates in participating schools. As school leaders look to implement the NEXTschool model, a focus on pulling the lever of collaborative and ongoing professional development toward a ‘Let Me Try’ culture, will be essential.
Contact us to share more resources about developing a ‘Let Me Try’ culture and to join the NEXTschool movement.https://hosted.learnquebec.ca/nextschool/2020/02/18/getting-to-let-me-try/NEXTschool As the model for implementing NEXTschool evolves, one of the key questions being asked is “What do teachers need in order to realize the NEXTschool vision?” One of the schools working on its implementation has identified that creating a ‘Let Me Try’ culture is vital. What is a ‘Let Me...lizfalco firstname.lastname@example.orgAdministratorNEXTSchool