I've been involved in some interesting conversations lately regarding the value of internal versus external support. To clarify, I'm not talking about solving IT problems, I'm focusing on the instructional and pedagogical side of education.
There are good arguments on the value of turning to your own school or district when exploring new ways to engage students or change the curriculum. These educators know your building and district and can make suggestions with an understanding of how it will play out. It is a safe decision that will bring what is expected. For those that think that new ideas can be had internally, I guess my question is why haven't they been heard yet?
The other side is the outside influence. There is something valuable to having someone from the outside come in and bring a fresh perspective to current state of things. Even the best intentions of educators in a building and district can get wrapped up in their own thoughts and fail to see things around them. A new view can help evolve current models of thinking and bring forth change that might not be possible.
As I look at both sides, it is easy to see why some might think it is a this or that situation, but it's not. This is what makes being a connected educator so amazing and helpful. I have found that sharing what is going on with a lesson or with my curriculum with others outside of my building and districts has opened up ideas I would not have seen on my own and might not have been reached internally.
I have also reached out to my colleagues for their thoughts on different pedagogical issues and they have pointed out more nuanced things that work well with our students that an outsider would have a hard time knowing.
I think if you are looking to fresh ideas and a new perspective on something, going for the external point of view is a great way to get it. If you are looking for something specific for your students, then a veteran of the building or district would be a great person to connect with to hear their thoughts.
I'd love to hear your thoughts on the value of internal vs external ideas. Leave a comment or shoot me a tweet.
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