Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Becoming an Ideas Bandit (how to steal ideas)

At the R&D Meeting yesterday, one of our team mentioned the term Ideas Bandit.  An Ideas Bandit, she explained, is someone who takes the time to go and observe another teacher, and then "steals" one of their ideas to try out in their own class.  When I said that this was a great idea, she said that she herself had "stolen" this idea from a Twitter chat that she had been involved in some time ago - she herself was actually an Ideas Bandit!

One of the things I really like about this is that it forces you to get out of your classroom and go into someone else's.  It means you are going in with a positive attitude as you are looking for the perfect idea that you can use yourself.  We know that there is so much expertise already in our classrooms, and we know how valuable it is to observe other teachers - this simply formalizes the process.  

There is another benefit to it too.  If you know that you are going to be observed by a colleague, perhaps it might make you more thoughtful about planning your lessons.  Also, if you know you have a really great lesson coming up, you could tell colleagues about it so that they could make the time to come and observe the lesson and "steal" your ideas.  

For this to work there needs to be a culture of trust and sharing in the school community.  I was reflecting on this in the light of the new design of ASB's elementary school.  We don't have any walls because we don't have any classrooms as such.  We do have some glass partitions (so we can always see what is going on) and we do have furniture on wheels that can divide up different spaces.  In the elementary school being an Ideas Bandit is a piece of cake, as you can observe anyone at any time.  

Photo Credit: dawolf- via Compfight cc

1 comment:

  1. This is how I have grown as a teacher - having been fortunate to work with some truly inspirational teachers. This year Dave and I have had a pretty much open door policy - having unlocked the doors and actually removed one of them from between our classrooms. The kids come and go freely and we work together - often times he'll walk in and I don't see him but my kids go and ask him for help and same for me in his room. I have definitely grown again this year. There is trust between us and the knowledge that we use what we see for our own benefit not to judge or report to others.