Today I sat in a professional development session on virtual learning to conduct a needs assessment and it turned into a “How” session. Let me explain. Within the first 10 minutes of the session, the participants asked the facilitator a few questions. However, the facilitator didn’t know the answers and confessed “I don’t know the answer let me write it down and I’ll get back to you.”

The session went on perfectly for about another 20 minutes, until we were in a part of the session where the why was discussed, then the what, followed by the when, but the “How” was missing. So before moving forward, I asked How do you accomplish that? Would you please illustrate that for me? I don’t know how? I’m the Chief Academic Officer and didn’t know. Everyone turned around looked at me and said yeah “how” do you do that? The facilitator said sure let me show you. At this point, I knew we had created a “Culture of How.”

The session continued for another hour and a half as the groups broke into sessions with the content experts and began planning for next week’s virtual lessons. As I walked from session to session I heard the word “How” 47 times. As the facilitators ended their sessions, the teachers we almost in tears as they stated:

“Thank you for showing me how, I was confused, but now I’m confident.”

“Thank you for letting me know it was okay not to know.”

“I didn’t know how to say I didn’t know how, but I’m comfortable with that now.”

“Today was phenomenal. It was was one of the best in my many years of teaching. I can’t wait until the next session to ask questions. I’m comfortable with not knowing “How.”

After this session, I couldn’t help but think about the current state of education especially the phrase”accelerated learning ” and wonder if districts are showing teachers “How” and most importantly have administrators created a culture of how at their schools and exhibited vulnerability thus creating a culture where teachers are comfortable asking “How?”