Radical Transparency

Magic Mirror on the wall… who’s the raddest of them all?

PCPS.pngThis past Saturday, I had the awesome opportunity to travel down to Luray, Virginia and lead a three hour professional development inspired by my upcoming book (there’s a sentence that still feels SUPER weird to type and read back out loud). I’m a big believer in radical transparency and growth through constructive critique, and so I was incredibly thankful when the PCPS admin team sent along copies of participant feedback on the day’s events to help me get a bit more insight on what’s working and what’s still in need of some TLC.

Here’s the full boat of comments from Page County teachers, if you’re feeling so inclined.

THE GOOD | It looks like people are walking away with a ton of ideas.

  • Loved the social & technology aspects. Mind-blowing on data / score aspect.

  • This was fantastic. I loved it! I would come visit another one of your seminars.

  • Excellent presenter – energetic, fun, knowledgeable.

Thanks, gang!

One of the biggest things I love about video games is that they are lightning fast in providing players with specific, actionable feedback — creating a risk-rich environment that’s jam-packed with life, energy, and the authentic desire to improve. If our classrooms can replicate even a fraction of that same energy, we will have moved the needle in the right direction.


THE BAD | Slow. It. Down.

  • Great presentation and information. Presenter had great information and ideas. More time would be helpful as we were pressed for time.

  • The pace was very fast and overwhelming.
  • Little overwhelmed with the speed and how I could implement the material. How do you have time and have a life?
This is super helpful to keep tabs on. When planning a class activity or a faculty PD, I try to keep the diverse learning styles of my learners at the forefront of my instructional design. The challenge, of course, is that packing more learners into the same room means that we’re packing in even more unique learning styles, questions, and moments where folks will simply need to unpack what they’re processing in order not to get overwhelmed by the speed of what’s being thrown their way.
Sound familiar?
It’s the exact problem that classroom teachers face on a daily basis. Invariably, one size fits all instruction simply doesn’t work with larger groups. Too fast for some, and WAAAAAAAY too slow for others.
The silver lining?

There are absolutely worse things for a presenter to hear than “man, I wish we had more time together!” And good news for those who’d like to dive a little deeper at a less frenetic pace than a one-day workshop: the book’s arriving this spring! Folks can read it as fast or as slowly as you’d like, and I would absolutely love to continue brainstorming alongside with anyone who’s interested.
It’s work worth doing! And together, we are truly changing the game.
Feel free to hit me up here, on Twitter, or via the podcast.

Author: John

John Meehan (@MeehanEDU) is an English teacher and school instructional coach at Bishop O’Connell High School in Arlington, Virginia. He began his teaching career in 2010 as a career switcher through The New Teacher Project, after spending five years working in social media and event marketing. He is a 2017 ASCD Emerging Leader, and an alumnus of the 2016-2018 Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Teacher Advisory Council. In 2016, he was named one of Arlington, Virginia’s “40 Under 40” by the Leadership Center for Excellence. He is a past presenter and regular attendee at educational conferences throughout the United States, including the annual conference for National Catholic Education Association, ASCD Empower19, and the Play Like a Champion Today: Character Education Through Sports summer conference at the University of Notre Dame. He’s an avid runner who’s completed more than three dozen marathons, half marathons, long-distance road relays, mud runs, and obstacle course races. John lives in Silver Spring, Maryland.

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