One of the great concerns of some teachers is school leaders going to conferences. Concerns may be aired as, “what are they [the leader] going to bring back this time for us to do?” Another concern may be of the school leader who likes to read books about education in their summer vacation. Again, concerned voices can be heard saying, “what great finding are they going to share with us and ask us to implement this time?” When education consultants and keynotes speakers are brought in to work with schools, similar types of concerned reactions can occur. Note that depending on the situation, all, most, some, or just a few teachers may display an element of concern.
So what lies behind these concerns? Here are four possibilities:
- Could it be that teachers are fearing yet another new initiative?
- Could it be that teachers do not understand why engaging in this new learning / idea / initiative is important?
- Could it be that teachers do not respect the educational research / ideas presented?
- Could it be that teachers do not view what the leader is asking them to engage with as important; the teacher(s) have other priorities?
A MiddleWeb Blog
Thankfully, every November, when things calm down a bit, I seem to have a shift in perspective, a moment of pause, and I forget I have been racing around for weeks, trying to “get everything done.”
Those first few weeks I forget some core wisdom, like the importance of taking a step back. I forget the value of slowing down, taking a breath. I am so focused on “doing things” that involve a lot of deadlines and paperwork, that I forget the essence of why I teach, which can’t be measured in statistics driven by SGO’s and SGP’s, no matter how hard the data is analyzed, revised, or tweaked.
Finally, a Deep Breath in November
When my head is in the world of corporate education, my heart isn’t fully in my job. When I am focused on how much there is to “do,” I lose some of my teaching magic…and unfortunately, so does my audience.
There are still many abracadabra moments that take me away from the sideshow of Big Education, like the move I use to emphasize 2-sided worksheets. As I dramatically swing my sample copy front-to-back, eliciting mock-gasps and signs of feigned but supportive amazement, we join in laughter and camaraderie, part of an unwritten curriculum.
Thoughts of impending deadlines and the inputting of online grades for a report card that doesn’t really align with my idea of authentic assessment slip into my head, uninvited at times (or prompted by the latest email). But each morning, when I greet my little people at our classroom door, those thoughts disappear into thin air somehow. That’s my kinda’ magic.