Many teachers and school leaders are largely self taught. For the most part, their training was on the job.
Their teacher and administrator preparation programs were inadequate. So, too, was (and is) their professional development.
They received little or no mentoring and have had few opportunities, if any, to learn with or from their colleagues.
One of the problems with being self-taught is that there may be significant gaps in knowledge and skills. Another problem is that educators are often unaware of those gaps.
Such blind spots will persist without skillful supervision and a strong system of professional learning that includes meaningful and sustained teamwork, peer observation, and instructional coaching that reveals what teachers and administrators don’t know about what they don’t know.
A strong system of support and learning will not only reveal gaps, but will identify and build upon educators’ strengths.
What do you think? What’s the best way for teachers and administrators to determine what they don’t know and to fill in those gaps?