Toward a Community of Practice

I imagine a group of teachers engaged in a professional conversation – perhaps at lunch or maybe in the workroom. One relates a story about students from class and asks for help; a colleague offers a tidbit of advice. Another shares shares a bit of frustration and finds an empathizing ear from a fellow teacher, and the conversation to breezes past context straight to the heart of the story…

… they realize that the next class will begin in less than five minutes… the conversation is meaningful but time is slipping away…. all acknowledge that they have to move along…

Developing and maintaining communities of practice among my teaching colleagues is hard work!

Social media have helped. Too often, though, connections like Twitter also serve as painful reminders:  I hear more from colleagues across the ‘Net than I hear from colleagues across the hall.

Our vision for this blog, then, is that we can overcome these challenges (among others) and develop a meaningful community of practice together. No 140 character limits. No racing the bell to our next classes.

Let this space offer opportunities to extend our professional dialogue by providing a forum to add nuance, detail, and space for reflection.


About Dr. Ostroff

Head of Upper School at The Emery/Weiner School in Houston, TX
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5 Responses to Toward a Community of Practice

  1. PS: we had an interesting chat in FLC today about the nature and timing of exams…Looking forward to posting on the topic.

    • DaveOstroff says:

      Thanks for your comment, Andrew – I’m pleased to hear that Parish’s Faculty Leadership Committee (FLC) has begun to discuss a revised vision for exams. I agree that now is a GREAT time to more broadly reconsider our approach to trimester exams.

      The exam concept (as we currently understand it) is a two-hour, solo, classroom experience that is too often dominated by mulitple choice questions… and students receive little or no feedback on their work aside from grades.

      I’m not sure our ‘exams’ align with the 4 C’s direction to which we aspire: is it possible that exams can be creative? collaborative? and teach clear, critical thinking? and develop students’ cogent communication skills?? I’d like to believe that the answers are “YES” – with a bit of structure and support…

  2. Hi Dave! Glad to get this started-thanks! Let me know if I need to do anything else to become a collaborator.


    • DaveOstroff says:

      You are all set, Andrew – welcome to the blog as a collaborator! I look forward to reading your posts and engaging in dialogue through comments and responses.

    • adamcohen1977 says:

      Hey there! I am also excited to learn from the collective and hopefully find new methods for teaching and presenting material.

      – Adam

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