Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Walking the talk

Today on Facebook author and former teacher, Phil Bildner, posted something that I wish more people in educational authority would consider:

Here's the thing: as I evolved as a teacher, I soon became aware of the fact that some of the work I was giving my students was mindless busywork. So you know what I did? I started doing the assignments I doled out to my students. If I wasn't willing to do them myself, then I certainly wasn't going to assign them. It made a huge difference in not only what I assigned, but it gave students more respect for the work I required of them.

What if this were true in the laws we create for education? I still vividly remember sitting through a session at the NCTE convention in November where Temple Grandin was presenting about the autistic brain. She is such a powerful presence in speaking out, not only for autism, but for education in general. She had a FANTASTIC idea for lawmakers. She wants to see the show Undercover Boss become Undercover Legislator. Think of all the changes that could be made in education if people in power actually chose to act with empathy and truly see what these "reforms" are doing to our students and teachers.

So until educational policymakers are willing to roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty, experiencing some of this actual mind-numbing work that is required of both teachers and students in schools today, we're never going to see change for the better.

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