I have been challenged by Jo-Ann Fox @AppEducation to write a blog post about 5 things that we need to “stop pretending” when it comes to education. Schools can be different.
Let's stop pretending... We need to control the class. You can look at this from multiple perspectives from teaching to management. When students take ownership of their learning something magical happens. Disengaged students are suddenly the most engaged - going from head down on desk to bopping around the room showing anyone who will look what they have created.
Let's stop pretending..Admin is on another team that is working against us. I truly believe administrators are truly there to help the students. No administrator is staying up at night coming up with ways to make teachers' lives more difficult. Often they are our advocates when they know that a policy or new practice will come in conflict with student learning. They are in the middle between us and the state - trying to manage and keep everyone on track. The admin in our district are completely supportive of us trying new things and even failing. They trust us as professionals and look for ways to support us.
Let's stop pretending... that just because a student has a rough home life that they cannot do well at school. This is where they need us even more. Unfortunately, I've heard teachers writing off students because they don't have parental support, therefore feeling there is nothing the teacher can do. I disagree. It's then that we have to try harder. We need to step in and find out what motivates. We need to connect with those students even more so. We can make a difference even if it's not in academic performance. Perhaps we can simply provide a safe, stable environment for a few hours a day.
Let's stop pretending...we need to be experts at everything. Sometimes, you just have to jump in and have faith that you will learn what you need to know as you go along - and, if that doesn't happen, there's probably a student who can help. Especially with technology, some of my students are so far beyond my knowledge. Do I stop them just because I don't understand? No. I let them teach each other - which I think they prefer anyways. They are so proud to help- especially when they teach me something new. We need to harness their knowledge - not shy away for fear of not being perfect.
I challenge @sfiecich, @mathprincessc, @AliciaJohal, @peerlessgreen, @theMsRuiz to share how you #MakeSchoolDifferent.