Slings, arrows and whatevs.
(They don’t think I know a b***load about the Gospels but I dooooo)
Another great post from The Great Handshake: Moral High Ground and Blowhard Bloggers.
Since someone had the brave honesty to tell me I was being condescending the other day, I will take this feedback to heart and try to change. However, from what I read and think about daily, many of us teachers only have our egos to protect us from the onslaught of negativity. It’s thin protection, and tears easily. We boost ourselves by mumbling our own mantras of worth and value in students’ lives with near immeasurable moments we continuously capture. Some, like me, use the blogging platform to do this, some social media. We promote ourselves, our moments, and we are the star of the show.
And there is not a dang thing wrong with that.
We need to be our own champions: however, I will make note of Great Handshake’s advice and do my utmost to veer away from blowhard-ery. My colleague had a point: I can be condescending at times. It was the right thing to say, and in no way offensive. And if we don’t reflect on who agrees with us and who doesn’t, then we stay stuck, which may lead to apathy, a sour grapes rigidity. Boredom and apathy make an interesting emotional team: they mire and muck motion.
Consider, however, they are the signs of poor health: they are the signals we, teachers and students, simply need to rest. We don’t have to answer every question, or respond to every remark.
When we rest, enjoy the mediocre and mundane, then we can go back to our scholarly research and curation, and share with others. Or not. When I started this blog I added a disclaimer – I just write this for myself, and if others get something out of it, bonus! Writing is a selfish act, like art, that becomes open to public interpretation.
Today I can’t rest, but I did allow myself this time to write and think. And then I can get back to ideas like these:
I drew daily inspiration from the teachers I met. Many were in tears over policies with catchy names and disastrous consequences, but their dedication was a constant. Across America, teachers in ordinary circumstances are breaking the standardized mold. They cast aside worksheets, textbooks, lectures, and test preparation in favor of empowering students to collaborate, solve real-world problems, and discover their strengths and interests.
The specifics of these remarkable classrooms were all over the map: kindergartners in Fort Wayne, Ind., designing robots; elementary students in Dunbar, W.Va., running the school’s information-technology help desk; middle schoolers in Fargo, N.D., producing documentaries about local historic buildings; high school students in Albuquerque, N.M., creating social-media campaigns for the city’s soccer team.