3 Simple Questions To Shape Professional Learning

I have often heard that there are two types of professional learning experiences; a “warm bath” or a “cold shower.”  The “warm bath” is an experience that makes you feel that everything you are doing is right and just full of positive affirmations.  The “cold shower” challenges you and makes you feel uncomfortable in what you are doing currently.


There is a risk in both approaches. In the first, people think there is a need to grow, and in the latter, people could feel that they will never be good enough and just give up.  In my opinion, great professional learning should be a combination of both. Educators need to walk out knowing that they are on the right path, but that we can always get better. All of us.1  It is something I continuously strive for in professional learning opportunities that I am lucky enough to be a part of but also in my learning.

Because of that belief, there are three questions that I try to ask in any workshop that I am leading.

  1. What has challenged you today?
  2. What has been reaffirmed?
  3. What will you do moving forward?

The first one is to help people embrace their discomfort. The hope is that own what they are struggling with, and they share it openly with others. (Cold Shower)

LINK: George Couros Blog

Building Reading Skills in Any Subject

By Susan Barber

As avid lovers of literature, teachers often find themselves wanting to impart every bit of knowledge about a well-loved text to their students. And this is not just an ELA issue—other disciplines also often focus on the content of a text. However, teaching reading skills in English classes and across the disciplines is an almost guaranteed way to help students retain content. Unfortunately, the tendency to focus on the content is a real enemy to the ultimate goal of building reading skills.

A young woman reads a heavily annotated book.

Without a repertoire of reading strategies that can be applied to any text, students are being shortchanged in their education. In order to teach students to read effectively, teachers must be sure that they are not simply suppliers of information on a particular text but also instructors of techniques to build reading skills. Here are some ideas on how to incorporate reading skills lessons into a curriculum.

LINK: Edutopia