Grow or die. That phrase is one of the core values of the Whole Brain Teaching philosophy. It’s a fundamental principle of the natural world. We know this, but the busyness of teaching a room full of students, the demands of life, unexpected difficulties…They can all suffocate our desire to become better educators. No one likes to think of themselves as mediocre, but if we’re not careful we can all too easily find ourselves sinking into the comfort of habits instead of rising to the challenge of excellence.
It’s been a little more than 2 months since I shared Whole Brain Teaching with many of my colleagues at school. The majority of them were like me when they first learned about – intrigued about its claims and willing to give it a try. That’s the easy part. Once you’ve been introduced to an idea, the responsibility shifts to you. Too many of us want something quick and easy, like a computer software update that we can download with just one click of a button. Teaching isn’t that easy. There is no instant update.
Questions to Ponder
There have been some discussions going on in my school. A few of us who are really “going for it” with Whole Brain Teaching are asking ourselves if we should do more to help our colleagues. There was hesitation on our part. First, we think of ourselves as rookies, too. What do we really have to offer someone else when we feel like amateurs who are still learning? On the other hand, we believe in Whole Brain Teaching so much and know there are students who need it right now. How can we in good conscience call ourselves educators while knowingly withholding vital information that could improve student learning? These are questions we wrestled with this past week.
And yet…I am not a fan of “spoon feeding” someone who is perfectly capable of seeking knowledge on their own. I love to help my fellow teachers, but I hate enabling the lazy. I believe your actions reflect your true values. If you really want to learn more about something, then you will find the time to watch archived videos, to download free resources and to practice those ideas in your classroom. Whole Brain Teaching is fun, free and effective…but it ain’t easy. We as educators need to demand the same level of effort from ourselves that we expect from our students. Challenge yourself to grow and get better. Pick up the spoon and feed yourself.