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Perspective and taking a step back

  1. Voice and Choice vs Teacher Directed

  2. Conferencing vs Skills in Isolation

  3. Teacher Planning vs Personalized learning plans

  4. Test Scores vs Student engagement

  5. Play-based learning vs Traditional Early instruction The only common thread I see in any of these points is VS. Conflict is not why I got into the field of education. I became a teacher because I had great ones that primarily taught using practices that I look down on today. I am not defending a practice that has been proven ineffective I am just wondering if we can not make the conversations around our practices more productive. The Professional Bully that Mary referred to here is a real person. They are comfortable in their ways and take offence at the notion that they are no longer the best ways. I caught myself today after reading Mary's brilliant post and reflected that some might think I am a professional bully. When the term AR comes up in conversation I respond with nothing but negativity. There is not an argument out there that will convince me it is a good program. You want to end independent reading time I will argue with you and happily enter that arena of conflict but we shouldn't have to.  If the idea is and should be, that students are our number one focus we need to not be rigid in any practice. My wife tells me stories of kids that love AR in the elementary. They are reading their first books ever, I should celebrate for that child because they have a book and are reading. I shouldn't make that moment about my opinion and scoff and talk about how terrible AR is, that is not the time for that fight. My friend Susan and I were talking the other day about balance and the danger of pushing things too much one way. I think we need to look at all the practices out there and work to find what is best. A part of that, I think, is taking that step back and maybe a step into the shoes of others to try and see things from their perspective. This was a random jumbling of thoughts but I do think we need to be kinder and more welcoming. Bees with honey and all that. Those Professional Bullies (I really love the term) are out there and sometimes I can be one. I want to work to understand the points of those I disagree with and work to find a solution that helps the most students. Perhaps too lofty a goal.

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