I have been making lists of things I want to address here in this blog. You all know by now that my passion runs deep and with that comes deep dismay and disgust with an occasional sprinkle of impressed fairy dust. But it’s all being said by others more articulate and intelligent than I am.
Now, I know I am a downer and I complain a lot, A LOT, about all I see, hear and experience in education. There a good things going on, no doubt. The problem is that they are not necessarily the norm. I do not blame any one thing in education. All the players have responsibility for all that goes wrong in a school day. It is a joy for me to see a former university student set up a loom for her students to use after hearing me present about Aunt Sally. It is a sweet reward to see my former students land teaching jobs and make a difference. It is a comfort to hear from a parent that the latest IEP did not end with her in tears.
I will spare you my rant about the systemic issues in education. Teachers are worked way too hard and their focus has been drawn to things that just do not matter near as much as the well being of their students.
I read a lot about education. And I run across articles that reflect on the things I do, that express the same sentiments I have for years. It’s all been said.
My question is this. If the good stuff has all been said, why is the bad stuff gaining momentum and control? If research is shared regarding how important play is to children, why are we not reinstating recesses? If research has shown us that behavior modification is not the most effective way to help out students present as calm and curious learners with minimal maladaptive behaviors, then why are we still spending a fortune on PBIS and insisting it works? It might look like it works because the data we collect is not measuring what we really need it to measure. New research shows that RTI is not effective. What? Yep, not effective, so why are we still using it to intervene and label students?
It’s all been said before. Be kind, be mindful, be patient, be engaging. Know your students, make sure they know you care, give them what they need with no questions asked. Teach in ways that make sense to you and your students. Be a good data collector, observe keenly, do not assume.
And find the joy in working with your students every day. Have a laugh, take a break, be spontaneous when spontaneity is needed.
Take care of yourself.
Take note administrators. All this bullshit you keep insisting on is killing your teachers and their students. Just let it go and let it be what it needs to be.