Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The Door

Do you teach with your door open or closed?

Some teachers keep their door open all the time.  Some keep it closed all the time.  And for some, it depends on the learning activity in the classroom.  I've seen great teachers in all three categories.  I started asking folks if the opened/closed door was a choice or not.  The reasons I heard were pretty common and not unexpected:
  • It's just a habit to close every door I walk through;
  • The hallway is usually too loud;
  • I leave it open so it doesn't slam 300 times a day with every bathroom trip;
  • My class pours out into the halls for flexible learning settings, and;
  • I can't teach when it is open.  I'm scared people will judge my teaching.
 Years ago, I feared teachers with closed doors.  I wondered what they were hiding.  Were they keeping the greatest lessons to themselves or hiding a horrible classroom?  Now, I know that some teachers may simply be hiding their lack of self-confidence.  Even some of the best teachers, magic in front of children, lack a bit of confidence in front of another adult.

Teachers are almost always their own worst critic!  We love to praise the great things we see in other classrooms.  We also love to find the faults in most of our own lessons and we brush off any praise that others may give us.  I would like to challenge you to see things through a different lens.  Before critiquing the learning in your classroom for things you want to improve, find the greatness in your own designs for learning.  Pat yourself on the back for what worked well.  Celebrate your expertise and share it with others so that they may improve by watching you and hearing from you!

Whether your door is open or closed, I challenge you to share the great things you do with each other! Bravely share your expertise!