A message from your Instructional Technologist: I believe in you

By | March 9, 2011

Lately, I’ve noticed that lots of questions I get from teachers start something like this: “I hate to bother you….” or “This is probably a stupid question1, but….”

Said in a tone that implies that teachers shouldn’t have to ask. That by looking for someone to help, they’ve somehow shown an unacceptable weakness. That the questions aren’t worthy of asking.

So, I want to make sure that both the words that I use and the ways that I interact reflect one thing: I believe in you.

Ask questions. Try things. Know that it’s ok if they don’t go as you had planned. Learn from that experience. Share the good and the bad so others can benefit from your learning. Because what you discover is of value.

Don’t be worried when I ask questions instead of giving answers. Sometimes that’s my way of helping you see you already had the knowledge you needed to move ahead. Sometimes, it’s to make sure the question you ask is really the one that needs answering. And sometimes it’s because I’m learning too.

Invite me into your classroom now and then. I’m not there to evaluate, but to help. I miss interacting with students sometimes and when you allow me to work with you, even for a single class period, it helps me remember what’s important.

And never forget that I believe you have inside what it takes to be an excellent teacher. Even when you’re asking for help.

  1. or “silly thing to ask”, “something I should already know,” or one of many other ways of saying their question isn’t worth much. []


Gordon Shupe on March 9, 2011 at 10:05 am.

Your free thoughts are shared!

Because you said so well what I want to say to my teaching colleagues, I am going to copy this and email it to them.

I am glad you took the time to write this and let me echo this!


Dan Schmit on March 9, 2011 at 10:35 am.

Well said, Michelle. I think your thinking aligns well with Jim Knight’s partnership learning approach to PD. If you haven’t seen his ideas, you might check them out.


milobo on March 9, 2011 at 7:05 pm.

Thanks, Dan,
Jim’s a person whose ideas I respect greatly. His blog is a great resource.


Chris Coffelt on March 9, 2011 at 12:10 pm.

Great thoughts Michelle, I echo Gordon and need to pass this message on.


Kyle A on March 9, 2011 at 1:02 pm.

I love the tone this post offers. I think we might even be able to substitute ‘believe in’ with ‘respect’. Opening the door to mutual learning and not just training. Increasing the potential depth and trust in the relationships you have with teachers. Well said.


milobo on March 9, 2011 at 7:07 pm.

True, Kyle. Respect is a big part of the equation when working with adult learners.


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