Do We View Teachers as Architects or Masons?

Architects design, master their craft while planning, and collaborate at a high level.
Masons work in the moment, communicate and problem solve on the fly, and master their craft as they build.

Architects are macro in planning seeing the big picture first, and then getting into the details.
Masons are micro in their attention to detail, seeing how each small piece fits into a bigger plan.

Architects revise, taking time to go over their plans and review their work.
Masons edit, fixing fast and furious.

Architects are inspired by other architects and designers.
Masons are inspired by others who work hard and help the team.

Architects search for inspiration.
Masons search for energy.

Architects create the blueprint.
Masons bring the design to life.

As teachers, we must embrace both roles.

Architects or Masons

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Join the discussion 9 Comments

  • Marisa Sergnese says:

    In my role, the focus is on supporting educators who are adopting redesigned learning spaces. The message you so brilliantly share is spot on.
    Thank you for the great storytelling in reinforcing such an important mindset for all educators!

  • Tracie Gones says:

    I think this is one of the reasons our job is so exhausting. Just doing one of these jobs is enough for one person, but doing both is so much work. But, I think understanding both jobs makes one better at each one individually. Thanks for the great analogy!

    • AJ Juliani says:

      Agreed Tracie. It is a lot to take on and do. I hope we can talk about this more frankly and be specific about where it is difficult to keep up, that way we can learn from each other!

  • Ululani Victor says:

    Aloha e AJ, great video! Now I know what I’m sharing at my next department meeting; it’s about that time of year when we need a little pick-me-up to re-energize our teaching. Thanks for sharing. 😀

  • John Bennett says:

    Absolutely must include both roles. Based upon school culture, selected general approach, anticipated student motivation, appropriate standards, …, the architect-teacher has to plan the overall approach (NOT lesson plans – a complete waste of time and effort to me at least) for the course. But the mason-teacher must be ready for dealing with those blank stares and questions indicating what’s being facilitated is NOT working for at least some.

    The ‘only architect’ teacher is guaranteed failure: no one can have enough experience and preparation to succeed with the original plan!

    And the ‘only mason’ teacher is likewise guaranteed failure: without a timeline, lack of time will cause problems, as will revising on the fly.

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