That new idea–give it a shot!

Last semester, our coaching crew challenged teachers on our campus to take time to observe other teachers, encourage them in what they were doing well, and look for areas that could be improved in their own classrooms. It ended up being a great success. Our teachers completed 424 observations of 30 minutes and went back to their classrooms with many low effort high impact strategies to help their students learn. To make the deal even sweeter (and thwart any buy in issues on the front end), teachers who completed four observations earned two hours back in their day during a February staff development day.

As great as that experience had been, it wasn’t realistic for us to manage throughout the entire year. So, the conversation began to stall, and I began to wonder how to give new life to the conversation that had been going so well.

A few weeks ago, I found my answer. Perusing Twitter one day, I stumbled upon a question George Couros (@gcouros and absolutely worth the follow) tweeted:

I loved the idea and immediately began to wonder if this could be our solution.

After a little bit of work (and thanks to the services Canva offers that make it easy for me to look more capable of design work than I am), I sent an email to my campus encouraging them to share the great things they are doing in their classrooms. I included this image with my email:

Share great AMCHS teaching (1)
After hitting send, I realized what I’d done.

I’d given a tired, hardworking staff an extra, very optional thing to do two weeks before spring break.But people did it.

That day, ten long days from spring break, people started posting about what was going on in their classrooms.

Click here to see what we’ve seen so far via Storify!

So why share this?

This is not the most successful Twitter campaign in the world. That’s one of the reasons I wanted share it. Over two weeks, all it took for this to be productive was for a few teachers to step out and try something new. 50 posts later, we have a nice little conversation going.

Because of that, teachers are learning, teachers are encouraged, and students will end up better off.

So next time you hear that good idea that might work (whether it’s like this or totally different), do what you can to see that it will work. Don’t sit back passively and wait for others to figure it out. Give it a shot. Take a chance. Do what you can to bring people together and make your campus a place where everyone is learning.

Think about it and commit to it (or it won’t happen).