The Problem With “I Already Do That”


I often read the posts by David Geurin and this one really made me think. Because I recently was asked by a colleague if a workshop he was invited to looked interesting and my response was; we already do most of it. Guess I missed out on a chance to learn there! I’m not saying everyone should attend every workshop/conference they get invited to, but I already know that it is not going to happen anyway. At least not in my school. It is difficult to get teachers to attend workshops here actually. They are just to busy planning lessons and grading. I guess my point then would be; listen to those who attend these workshops both in person and online, and learn from them. And even if what they talk about sounds familiar, don’t say; I already do that. Because chances are, your not.

Read the text below and participate in the conversation; Do you hear this phrase often? How should we respond when someone says, “I already do that?” Leave a comment below or respond on Facebook or Twitter.

I guess my response would be; that is interesting, how is that working for you? Can you share that with me?

After a day of professional development that involves learning about a practice or method, an educator boasts, “I already do that.”

When an administrator or instructional coach suggests a change that might be helpful for a classroom, a teacher responds, “I already do that.”

Often the phrase is followed by an explanation of ways the educator is already doing that practice. And it could be that the educator has done something similar, or maybe even something almost exactly the same. Maybe it’s true.

But regardless of whether the educator already does that or not, these words seem very dismissive to me. It seems to imply that I already know what you’re talking about, and there is nothing more I can learn from you on this topic.

Like many seasoned educators, over the years I’ve had hundreds if not thousands of conversations about teaching and learning, and I’ve participated in untold hours of formal and informal professional development.

And even when it was not my choice to attend the workshop or session, I tried to have the attitude that I might learn something from this.

There were times that I didn’t fully engage, but I always tried to take away something. Sometimes I even learned what not to do. We’ve all been to bad PD sessions or uninspired training. But there can be learning nonetheless.

Full text here: Source: The @DavidGeurin Blog: The Problem With “I Already Do That”

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