It just all seemed like the instructional equivalent of breadcrumbs. There was too much filler, and not enough crab meat.
It seems that we have built a state system that limits college to only the wealthiest students and families.
We need less testing.
We need better tests.
And as always, our mistakes in this area are hurting our most struggling students the most.
We do our profession a grave disservice with sweeping generalizations, blanket compliments, and vague critiques.
And there are millions more walls that I am blind to, they are built with money on the backs of people and experiences, and they are every bit as damning as the ones I have listed.
I’m just thankful that my wife is enough of an ass to tell me that I should probably work on taking up a little less space, instead of packing her bags.
I wish they said those things too so that I would feel more like the teachers in the movies. If we could all just be a little more like Ron Clark or the Freedom Writers lady, then maybe this whole mess of public education in America would be fixed.
And in the week of This is America, I think so many of us are the kind of the person trying not to watch as we slip on our expensive coats. It’s tempting to just keep looking forward and not notice the person waiting for the bus. In a more corporate sense, it is really easy to forget about the things that don’t impact our own lives. It’s the allure of that blissful ignorance that allows those around us to be uncomfortable while we slip into our luxury cars.
A blog is really just a place for people like me to rant, or articulate, some of our evolving truths and half-truths. It's an all-opinions-are-valid world and anyone with a smartphone, or a seat at the corner bar, can jump in the fun.
But sometimes I forget where I am.
And I just listened. Sure, there were a few times where the teacher got the best of me and I wanted to throw my two cents worth of opinion and solution into the stories, but my “2 cents” held very little value in the kind of truth that they were sharing. It was one of those moments where I got the clear sense that being there made me a better person. I was the fortunate one getting to witness something amazing. Miraculous, even.
There is that pesky “default setting” that starts to think that this whole world is just in our way. When we get stuck in that for too long, we start feel miserable and annoyed. We start to live a life that we will forget the next week or the next day because we are barely thinking. One of the big problems in the world is that so many of us our thinking that way.
Teaching isn’t about a great class or an amazing lesson. It is about a full year that builds toward our student learning the content at varying paces and, hopefully, becoming better and more complete people.
But now we are at Easter, my favorite time of year has always kind of also been the hardest time of year.
While we should be encouraged and heartened by the amazing students from Parkland these days, I think any teacher just shakes their head and imagines the genius they see everyday that could very easily be leading marches and changing worlds.
Belief looks different in every moment. But I’m pretty sure it means sometimes sitting down on a dusty floor and holding the hands of a crying 8 year old. I think I believe in my students, but that teacher with a dusty pair of pants has been my inspiration for this week. Hopefully she is yours as well.