Day 77 (of 184) talkin’ shop
Always difficult at ‘after school socials’ like Christmas parties, end-of-year events, etc. is negotiating the subject of ‘talking shop’.
I remember the first time I heard the groan ‘do we HAVE to talk about work now’ and the first declarative ‘no talking about school’ that I had to traverse. Because I LIKE talking about school. I started offering to host ‘parties’ because then I could ‘trump’ any ‘no-school-talkers’ with a ‘house rules declaration’.
I greatly value the out-of-building chats that enable richer thinking and sharing of what has happened and what could happen next!
Sometimes someone needs to vent to get something off their chests – or as a way to seek advice from someone who has ‘been there’.
Sometimes there is not enough sharing of what’s going on in the classrooms during hallway and lunch chats and this is one time where people can talk in a huddle or share to a crowd.
At my ‘busiest’ school it was these chats that got people through the week (let alone the year) to form a supportive learning community bi still have some time to talk educational philosophy.
It’s during these chats where some great connections are made – where we sometimes solve all the worlds problems!!
I admit that now when someone says ‘no shop talk’ I now question them further. I’ll confess that my opinion of them used to drop and I’d just talk to others of like minds.
Now I just embrace those off-hour conversations as off-line twitter conversations. Great opportunities for further learning. It’s how we worked out some neat initiatives ranging from using iPod nanos to record student oral language to shifting from traditional report cards to eportfolios.
Talk school. It’s been the best pro-d and I believe it will to be the best way for learning communities to grow and improve.