Robert Marzano caused a firestorm among teachers by posting the following tweet last week:
In case anyone missed it, he removed the tweet five days later and apololgized for failing to recognize the obvious multitude of factors outside the classroom that affect student learning. The thing about Marzano and most every other education theorist is that there is generally good to be gleaned from their theories. The problem comes with district administrators treating any one of these theories like it’s a magic bullet.
You don’t just change everything you do based upon the latest theory. But you don’t ignore it either. You take what’s good from it, adapt it to your teaching style and the kids you teach, and you make yourself a better teacher and your classroom a better learning environment. Teachers, like students, are individuals who learn, think, excel and fail in different ways. No cookie cutter system is ever going to work for every teacher and every student. Teaching is an art, not a science.
I have drawers full of professional development materials, books, handouts, teaching strategies, you name it. One thing I have learned above all else, is that there’s some good stuff in there, but in the end, it all comes down to people and relationships. Ultimately, what we teach and how we teach isn’t nearly important as who we teach.