I love Grey’s Anatomy. There. I’ve said it. I love Meredith, and I love Izzy, and most of all, I love Dr. McDreamy in all of his McDreamyishness. Wait, don’t leave…I totally have something relevant to say about all of this today. See, there is something that these characters have in common with pre-service and inservice teachers: they are all students as well.
The great thing about teaching is that we are always continuing to learn. This notion has always inspired me, and it’s kept me excited about my field longer than many people are able to maintain the passion they have for their chosen careers. But something has been missing.
This summer, I will be back in the classroom writing with kids again, and I am thrilled about this. But now, there is more. Several of the teachers that I’ve worked with for some time now have asked if they could come hang out with me during these week-long sessions, and I must admit, I’m happy for the company. I’m also happy for the opportunity that this will provide: these teachers will be able to coach me while I’m at work with these students.
The notion of critical friends and the concept of peer-coaching is something I’ve eagerly promoted for years now, but I must admit, it isn’t something that teachers are typically comfortable endorsing. It is difficult, in our accountability-driven culture, to welcome people into your room and invite them to critique your practice. I understand this, and if I were in the classroom, I know that I would feel intimidated by this as well.
But I often think of those interns on Grey’s Anatomy. I see them in the surgery observation room, taking in the practice of the professionals they hope to emulate and the peers they come to learn from. I honestly believe in the potential and the promise of the lab classroom, and I’m excited to gain some experience with that this summer as well.