How often as curriculum coaches, teachers, and administrators due we take the perspective of those we work with into mind? When I'm introducing a new technology to teachers, do I take into account what they want or need or have time to do? When administrators add a new rule, do they first think of its consequences on teachers or students? When we teach a lesson to students on a topic, do we take the time to see how they view it? I think all of us need to take just a little more time and understand the perspective of the people we are trying to sell an idea too.
Perspective = If you want to persuade someone, understand their perspective.
As a technology coach, I have a responsibility to convince teachers to integrate technology effectively into their lessons and transform how a lot of them have been teaching for many years. I also do a lot of professional learning sessions including how to use the district's new online assessment software and using social media responsibly. As I read the chapter, I asked myself if I take into account the teacher's perspective as I prepare and deliver these professional learning activities.
Tomorrow I have to deliver professional learning to high school teachers using the district's assessment software to create tests. After reading this chapter, here are some strategies from the chapter I will use to "sell" the teachers on using the software.
- Amazon - Yes, the company Amazon. When the higher ups in the company have a meeting, they always leave one chair empty. This chair represents us the consumer and reminds them not to forget us. I will have two empty chairs in planning; one is for the teachers and the second is for students.
- Be confident that I am an ambivert. I have know for the past 20 years that I was more on the introvert side of the introvert/extrovert scale. I have never been shy but was never the center of attention as well. At a party or meeting with strangers, I am always quiet and reflective of the group before opening my mouth to make suggestions. You would think to convince others you have to be an extrovert, but I learned in this chapter, that us, ambiverts, are more powerful at selling. We are in the middle and not on the extreme edges.
- Mimic the mannerisms of the group. When a teacher asks a question, pay attention to him/her. Repeat the question they ask, if they lean in then I lean in, if they cross their arms then cross my arms.
- Assume I'm in a position of lower power. This will help me better understand the teacher's perspective as I teach them.