Iâ€™ve felt for a long time that teachers are their own worst enemies when it comes to fighting for what they believe should and shouldnâ€™t be happening in our schools. Iâ€™m not alone in this â€œfeelingâ€ and definitely not the most radical about it, but many feel itâ€™s because people that tend towards education are often idealistic, and were â€œgood little girls and boysâ€ in school that were compliant and adverse to â€œmaking waves,â€ or bringing undo attention to themselves. You know â€¦ donâ€™t be controversial.
In Nevada teachers are not allowed by law to strike, so the best we get is binding arbitration.
The other night my wife (also a teacher) and I were bemoaning how many education issues seem to have taken on the â€œno winâ€ mantra of, â€œ Well, itâ€™s not going away so weâ€™re just going to have to deal with it.â€
My question is why do we just have to deal with it!!??
NCLB â€“ Yes, I know it has major problems, but itâ€™s not going anywhere so youâ€™ll just have to deal with it.â€
TESTING â€“ Yes, its done too much, and done poorly, and too often for the wrong reason, and too often generates unusable or poor information, but itâ€™s not going away so you better just deal with it.
Funding â€“ Yes, schools are not funded properly and the wrongheaded perception is that they get more money than they need is prevalent, but legislatures and the public arenâ€™t going to support more funding anytime soon so you better just get used to it.
Teacher empowerment / being in on decisions about how and what we teach â€“ Yes too often the wrong people are involved in making decisions about what happens in our schools, but thatâ€™s not going to change anytime soon so you better learn to deal with it.
Access to 21st century learning tools and new ways to approach and monitor learning â€“ Yes, we need to move out of the nineteenth century in our schools, but change is hard and funding is difficult, so just be happy with any new tools you have and any new methods you can clandestinely incorporate into lessons, because these old methods and tools are not going away anytime soon, so just deal with it.
What else is not going away that we should not be â€œdealing with?â€
Who is pushing this idea that we just have to deal with it? And why do so many of us seem to buy that thinking?
Learning is messy!