Recently I was challenged by Kristin Keery Bishop to share my thoughts on how we can make schools different. At same time, I am hesitant to share my thoughts because I do not want to sound critical of public education. I love public education recognizing that we are never perfect. I might sound repetitive of my colleagues, but these are my thoughts.
When it comes to education, we have to stop pretending that we don’t need help. We all need help. Open your doors! Accept feedback! Grow together! Learn together! There’s so much to being a teacher who can do it all alone? No one.
When it comes to education, we have to stop pretending that we are using all available resources. The demands of teaching requires us to rely on many resources; or at least you would think. My thoughts are not isolated to physical resources (i.e. books and tech) but people. What are the obstacles to using the right amount of resources?
When it comes to education, we have to stop pretending that we need more money. More money does not equate a better school. As Aviva points out, we can buy all the tech in the world and still not reach “the perfect school.” The best schools are the ones who show genuine care and love of kids. How much does genuine care and support cost?
When it comes to education, we have to stop pretending that interruptions are welcomed in schools. Don’t get me wrong, some interruptions are important. The purpose of school is to learn and improve metacognition. Everything else is secondary. We must not be afraid to focus our attention on learning and away from everything else.
When it comes to education, we have to stop pretending that all teachers reflect in one way. Many educators do not blog. Even I don’t blog very often. If teachers can be reflective of their practice, then maybe blogging is not their avenue of expression. However, this leads me to trouble because . . .
I can not challenge anyone else to blog on this topic. I think most bloggers have been challenged already. I am pleased to fulfill my commitment. The challenge I give is for other teachers to be reflective and share their thoughts. If we are to reach an optimal level of collaboration, reflection is key.
One of my favourite stories is the Emperor’s New Clothes. I never understood it as a child. I love this blogging topic because we often pretend nothing is wrong. With criticism, feedback and collaboration, our students benefit. Until next time!