Recently I've had the opportunity to visit several independent schools and talk to them about education, professional development and the future we are facing as educators.We all face many of the same issues but what separates the good from the great schools is the ability to think outside the box, to venture outside the comfort zone especially in the area of professional learning. Dare to venture outside the bubble!
I'm a firm believer that schools sometimes exist in their own secluded bubble, believing everything is going well because access to outside sources to contradict this feeling, are limited. Existing in this bubble may be fine but it's not reality and it's not conducive to producing great education. Good? Maybe but certainly not great.
Unless they step outside the bubble to experience different educational communities or allow others to bring in new and innovative techniques, they will stagnate educationally. If you remain status quo in education you're actually going backwards.
Professional development must be an integral component in the educational process and this process is now more accessible than ever. For instance, is there really any reason not to incorporate social media, think Twitter, and You Tube, think Ted Talks, for your professional development needs? Access 24/7 with a wide variety of resources and what's more it's free. Creating your own customized professional learning has never been easier.
Once again, remaining inside the bubble may work for you now but it must be supplemented by professional learning and conversation from outside the bubble to achieve greatness.