Great recipes aren't shared very often, but the product of those recipes is paraded around like a brand new car. This is because great recipes are a sign of excellence. Strangely, great recipes aren't just about food. They are about the people who invented them. Recipes are guarded out of fear that if the recipe is shared, the creator will lose not only his recipe, but the notoriety for being the recipe's creator.
If you think about it, education has great recipes that we call lessons, and for the last 20 years or so, we have had this pressure to share our knowledge. The pressure to share great lessons is higher now than ever before. There are great educators who are sharing everything they have on the web, but there are also great educators who share nothing.
To share or not to share. That is the question...
The fear of sharing is a real thing. Great teachers don't share because they fear their stuff is not good enough. Some fail to share because of their modesty or they don't want to be perceived as a know-it-all, and some won't share because it is their creation and they don't want to share it.
All the while kids continue to fail.
Kids come to us like a masterlock without a key. Some locks can be unlocked with a good lesson, while other locks can only be picked by a master lesson. Not all educators have the time, knowledge, or experience to create master lessons, but all educators can follow the recipe and adapt them to their needs. That's why sharing shouldn't be the goal.
Sharing should be the standard...
All kids must learn; therefore, all kids deserve access to the same degree of instruction. Instruction like this can only occur when educators break down the barriers of bravado, and kick in the doors of detached desolation. If all kids must learn, then all educators must be the first learners. We must share our recipes of excellence, borrow recipes where we fall short, tinker in teams with new techniques and collaboratively grow as lead learners. When we embrace this growth mindset that sharing is about more than caring, then educating all kids will no longer be the goal, but the standard.
October is Connected Educator month, so get out there. Connect with your colleagues. Share your recipe, and equip educators with your excellence.
Kids will be better for it!