Monday, November 23, 2009

Teachers Selling Lessons

You may have read the article in the NY Times about teachers buying and selling their lessons on the internet.

The article is interesting, and even more interesting are the responses from readers.  As an educator I believe strongly in collaborative effort, and in my opinion teachers can often learn as much or more from their colleagues as they can from "experts" who drop in for a session or two and then leave.

On the other hand, one of the worst lessons I ever taught was one that I had participated in as a learner and then attempted to present to a different group as the teacher.

What is the significance of these two seemingly opposing threads?

  • I believe that good teaching ideas should be shared.
  • Some people are fortunate enough to be paid by publishers to create lessons that will be sold to other teachers as books.
  • Some people are fortunate enough to teach in institutions in which the culture provides time and support for sharing ideas with colleagues.
  • All good teaching requires time for preparing lessons - whether or not one starts with a template provided by a teachers' guide, book or on-line site.
  • Anyone who attempts to teach someone else's lesson without taking the time to make it his or her own will probably not be successful. is the website referred to in the Times article.  I looked to see if there were Jewish educational lessons available, and found some on the Shoah, one on the lunar calendar, and little if anything else.

There are, however, on-line sites that can be very helpful to Jewish educators. 

I suggest you type the words Jewish Lesson Plans into your search engine and see what comes up.  You may be surprised at the resources you can access.

Just remember - no one should try to teach some else's lesson without making it his or her own.

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