Opportunity Culture Voices: Showing Veteran Teachers Some Love

April 21, 2016

“We’ve all heard the saying, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks,” but how many of us have actually stopped to wonder why? Is the dog just apathetic? Insecure in his ability to learn? Unsure of the goal? Maybe the greater question to ask is, “Why not?” With the right motivation, feedback, love, and support, I could have my 13-year-old black lab, Linus, rolling over by sunrise. This, however, can only happen with the right approach—from someone who has taken the time to get to know Linus and understands why he’s not rolling over already.

“Unfortunately, in the ever-changing world of education, too many people believe our veteran teachers are unwilling to change—or are even incapable of learning “new tricks.” As an Opportunity Culture multi-classroom leader in New York’s Syracuse City School District, I have found that could not be further from the truth. I’ve been fortunate to work with several veteran teachers, some with more than my 15 years’ experience, and watched them challenge themselves, growing into better teachers who feel professionally renewed.”

–Syracuse, N.Y., Math Multi-Classroom Leader Sharon Archer, in Want Veteran Teachers to Learn New Things? Show Them Some Love

When Sharon Archer began leading her middle-school math teaching team, she quickly grasped how many different approaches she needed to bring to her job. Her team included experienced and brand-new teachers, and she knew she needed to “slowly and deliberately” shake up the classroom of one experienced teacher, and guide another back to a love of teaching.

Read what Sharon did in the latest Opportunity Culture column in Real Clear Education, and hear her thoughts on an Opportunity Culture.

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