Side by Side

“You’re the expert!”

I’ve never been comfortable with this statement when people use it to refer to my work as a Literacy Coach. Yes, I have spent years and years studying literacy.  I read the research, attend conferences, try out techniques in classrooms, and talk with anyone who will listen (and even a few people who would prefer not to) about literacy practices. But the label “expert” does not sit well with me.  To me, the word “expert” suggests a final state, an end, an absolute.  I am, and will always be, in the never ending process of learning.

I’m much more interested in the idea of learning with and from teachers and colleagues.  For that reason, this teaching and learning from home situation has been really exciting for me.  I’m certainly not suggesting that it hasn’t been REALLY hard, but I love the position it puts me in.  I am definitely NOT the expert when it comes to distance learning.  None of us are.  That means we are all in this, side by side, learning as we go, learning from one another, trying, failing, trying again, and getting a little bit better each and every day.

For me, this is the kind of coaching I like best.

8 thoughts on “Side by Side”

  1. What you have accomplished at home so far is impressive! I love that you will always give things a try. I actually think of an expert as someone who always works to stay current and active with a topic, so I would consider you one!

  2. We are all on an equal playing field- sharing what’s working and what isn’t. I have enjoyed some of the new learning, but miss school. Maybe this will all be worth it if we take some of this learning to keep growing and improving when we get back.

    1. I do love the way we are sharing and leaning on each other. I miss school too, but I agree that some of this work will really pay off. Maybe if we videotape lessons, students who are absent, or just need to hear the lesson again, will have that extra tool? Maybe some of the ways we teach and share will continue.

  3. Yes, yes. We are (or should be) always learning. Nobody knows everything; everybody grows. Embracing an “expert” persona separates rather than unites. You are very wise.

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