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Saturday, May 27, 2017

The Danger of Bringing School Home

All educators bring school home. We work diligently with children all day so we need time in the mornings before school and afternoons to digest all that we have done, reflect, and make plans for the next days' actions.

This homework can be troubling, at times, to family members and friends. They tire of our school speak and homework.

Educators have to be mindful of that in order to continue their good out-of-school relationships.

Yesterday I brought a school issue home. It upset the whole family. I wish I had the foresight to leave it at school. Lesson learned and shared. Onward.

Lack of Attention Leads to Problems

Often people like to bury problems rather than deal with them. Yet those issues only grow when met with a lack of attention or repeated similar behavior.

I ache when I see this happen.

For example, there has been a repeated action related to my effort. It has happened over and over again. Each time I worry, I get upset, I speak up, and each time there is no change or response. The action continues to occur. Recently I reached out to break this cycle, but my outreach was not well received. Now I realize I am powerless alone to break this cycle, and will seek to work with my union to look for ways to bring an end to this oppressive and demeaning cycle of professional effort. I will no longer try to go it alone which has been repeatedly unsuccessful in this sphere.

There have been other cycles that I'm promoted over time. There's one that I actually began to break recently--I found a way to change that cycle which I'm really happy about. There's more work to do, but the first change spells promise.

What problems of energy, inspiration, support, and effort exist in your teaching/learning environment? How can you proactively work on your own and with others to remedy those problems by working for good change and revolve?

Bringing problems sensitively out into the open can help to remedy those problems. Looking carefully at what is happening and why and working together to make good change and growth is ideal. This takes thoughtful, modern strategic work and thinking--the kind of effort that relies on all of our best efforts.

Problems deserve attention and time--when we embrace the promise that problems hold with good process, respect, and care for one another with an eye on the mission of our work, we will do well. Onward.

Putting a Challenging Week to Rest

On the child-front, it was an extraordinary week of teaching and learning. Our maturing spadefoot toads, the fifth grade play, biography research and study, STEAM survival activities, and more made it a tremendously, positive week of teaching and learning. TeamFive is a great team of students, family members, and educators--a learning community that works to support every member with strength, commitment, vision, and care. Amazing!

As I've mentioned before the work we do as part of the shared teaching model is the best teaching/learning environment I've ever worked in--the possibilities and current efforts are top-notch, and for that I'm grateful and inspired.

On the larger front of teaching and learning, there remains considerable challenge. Teacher voice and choice, transparent inclusive communication, and collaboration continue to be areas of great challenge near and far in teaching circles. We have a national government that appears to disregard the value a good education for every child holds, and the essential practices and supports that go along with that. We have local systems that are reluctant to modernize leadership models with distributive leadership, educator choice and voice, development of dynamic learning communities, and the supports that go along with that. Fortunately I note substantial good work at the state and union levels--support that is looking ahead with depth, mission, and good research to build strong, dynamic educational experiences for every child. I honor these efforts.

In light of this, what is a teacher to do? I say it to myself again and again, what I have to do is aline myself with those who truly support the good research and efforts related to teaching children well. I have to individually steer clear and jointly advocate against those people and policies that continually demean, disregard, and disrespect educators with poor communication, directives that don't include good research and teacher voice and choice, and lack of other supports that help us to do our jobs well.

This is easier said than done since my nature is to be trusting and to quickly turn the page and believe that people's efforts are well intended, inclusive, and inspired. Perhaps a good way to guard against this blind trust is to meet initiatives and requests with the following questions

  • Has this been a source of support or a support of disrespect in the past?
  • Is this an initiative that has its roots in good research and educator vision, voice and choice or is this initiative a surface-level act that's more representative of ambition than mission?
  • Is this an initiative where teachers will be well supported?
  • Is this an initiative that matches the mission I have chosen which is teaching children well?
Rather than get involved and upset with initiatives that don't support my central mission as an educator, these questions will help me to steer away from efforts that take substantial time, create havoc and trouble, and don't support who I am or what I can do as an educator. Onward.