With 120 students, there are 120 sets of fears, hopes, concerns, traumas, loves, smiles, and unique, and sometimes cluttered, lived experiences.
I sat in a PD this week with teachers all across my district, and I was kind of shocked that most of them were talking about student behaviors.
The whole process of making decisions seems like it might merit some more energy in education, since it is kind of the primary job task of educators.
We do the same thing in education. We act like we are treating new patients from an alien universe every year, instead of relying on the wealth of information that we can usually access. Consequently, many teachers spend a third of their year in a triage loop that is a waste of time, losing valuable instructional time trying to figure out more about their students.
The real work of education is in the sweat and effort of individualized intervention. It is in asking every question, thinking of every solution, exhausting all resources, and turning over every stone.
Yes, I’m admitting it Donny Jr.: there are “loser teachers” out there. They are just not the people you were thinking of in your dismissive and ill-informed comments.
We fear that there is a fine line between the concession of our commanding persona and a chaotic classroom that limits our students’ growth.
I’m also reminded of this humanity when I read a really good book. And, if you're looking for one, Heavy by Kiese Laymon is a really good book.
Trader Joe’s understands that things are a lot better when people are happy. They train their employees to be kind, talk about customer service as a primary purpose, and treat their employees better than most any other grocery store.
The primary job of the teacher is problem-solving. I’ll try to explain, but if you are a teacher and that doesn’t make sense you should quit immediately.
Adequately addressing the issue of trauma in our schools requires much more than awareness. It’s a massive issue deserving of massive attention. It will require a massive investment of time in money in the very places that we have ignored for decades. The wave of concern in public education has never centered around the schools that are most impacted by trauma, but their adjacent suburbs. Many of our young folks are calloused by trauma, and beginning to soften the callous will require an ambitious and layered approach beyond what our schools and 90 minute PDs are currently providing. It will likely require conversation and systemic change.