A Strategy Teachers Can Use to Learn Together

Share your teaching challenges, uncover answers, and boost your morale by participating in public learning sessions with other teachers.

Teachers frequently believe that they are missing out on social and collaborative venues such as faculty rooms, which can serve as a focal point for spontaneous interactions and support. Teachers and students must collaborate to develop effective teaching and engagement strategies—as well as to motivate one another. Engaging tactics are vital for fostering teamwork and raising morale among employees.

Mills Teacher Scholars place a strong emphasis on public learning as a crucial practice. It promotes a culture of questioning preconceptions and biases through the use of dialogue. It is simple to adapt to virtual situations, and I have personally witnessed its usefulness in action on several occasions.

What is the definition of public learning?

Unlike teacher lectures, which exclusively highlight the best practices and offer the best pieces of student work, public learning allows everyone to participate. Instead, it focuses on the messy but valuable thinking that steers educators toward the most effective approaches. The goal of public learning is to share your uncertainties, to notice and grasp the current reality of students, and to celebrate their triumphs and next steps with them.

The listener and the learner both benefit from this approach, although it takes some vulnerability. It invites a variety of perspectives that help the learner progress, and most significantly, it helps the student progress (s). It normally takes less than 20 minutes to complete the process.


An instructional challenge is presented to the group by one teacher, who is designated as the public learner by the facilitator. Anything the instructor (leader) is interested in assisting with, such as how to engage students or increase student communication or how to help students rewrite work to acquire a skill, could be included on this list of topics.

The first step is to gather information.

Prepare ahead of time: It is recommended that the facilitator/leader first meet with the public learner to discuss what they are interested in sharing with their peers. The leader/facilitator will then guide the public learner through the process of considering student data and work that they can bring to the meeting to demonstrate to their peers the present reality in their classroom environment. Student messages, student work, and recordings are all examples of data that can be collected. If the public learner is unsure about what evidence or student work to provide, anecdotes or stories can also be used to help them understand.

Step number two.

Encourage your colleagues to use gallery view to develop a virtual learning environment for the general public.

Step number three.

Get Involved (3 minutes). The public learner expresses his or her predicament and, preferably, information. They should explain what they are having difficulty understanding, what data they have, where they feel stuck, and what help they would like to think about more deeply. “I would love to assist you in thinking about…”, the public learner should say after their presentation.

Step number four.

Colleagues can independently verify and validate the data.

Step number five.

The public learner is not expected to react quickly but is instead given time to consider his or her response. In contrast to many talks, where speakers are expected to answer instantly, this is not the case here.

The following are possible responses from listeners:

  • “I overheard a public learner say…”, I thought.
  • “I’m interested in finding out more about…”
  • “I’m curious as to what they were getting at…”
  • There’s something I’m wondering about…”
  • When I look at the statistics, I think to myself, “I observe…”

Step number six.

The conversation will be centered on the opinions and ideas expressed by the public learners. These are the things that they should be thinking about:

Data/evidence that demonstrates what students are accomplishing is needed.
Consider what students hope to achieve in their careers.
Consider the next step or modification that could be implemented in your practice to assist students in achieving their objectives.

This is not the place for colleagues to suggest solutions, but rather to assist the public learner in thinking about their problem differently and digging deeper into it.

Step number seven.

Step 7 is quite important. If time is limited, you must take a few minutes away from the open discussion to ensure that this time is available for your learner’s benefit.

Setting up a learning environment that encourages cooperation, vulnerability, and learning can be accomplished in under 20 minutes! This enables employees to collaborate to better help students.

It was in the spring that I presented public learning to my team and reminded them that we were all newly minted educators. Whether I had nine years of experience or if my colleague had more than 15 years, it didn’t matter; we were all new instructors and we could accomplish this together.