I am really getting sick of everyone starting off sentences with "Teachers can't...." or "Teachers don't know how to..." Evidently, America's favorite past time has become filling in that blank and preparing their finger for some extensive pointing.
WHEN IS SOMEONE GOING TO REALIZE THAT ALL THIS BLAMING OF THE TEACHERS IS REALLY A BIG SMOKESCREEN ELABORATELY CONSTRUCTED TO AVOID LOOKING DEEPLY AT WHAT IS REALLY WRONG IN SCHOOLS?
Now, Mrs. Mimi has worked with some suckity suck suck teachers as colleagues. I know they are out there. But once I left my former classroom and the rage started to settle, I began to wonder if they all were always that terrible or perhaps (insert glimmer in my eye here) they had been beaten into submission by a system that is broken and hellbent on standardizing us down to how many pencils to sharpen and when. No sharper! More point! You're doing it all wrong!
Teaching is hard. Teaching well is even harder. Combine that with all of the demands that are placed on us (ahem - collecting, recording and interpreting data, writing lessons, planning assemblies, communicating with parents, dealing with fights, social development, social justice, raising test scores, meeting standards, charting standards, filing paperwork, creating portfolios....need I continue?) and all of the fads that are simply dumped in a heap in the middle of our classrooms (oh, I don't know, like Smart boards for one?). Tell me. How do you expect a person who already doesn't have enough hours in the day to magically incorporate new technology into his or her teaching with little to no professional support in said technology?
Or are teachers really getting fancy shmancy new things just so that we can continue to say, "Teachers don't know how to integrate technology."
I wonder. What if we focused on what teachers CAN do. What if we looked at individual teachers' strengths and then held them up as examples and resources to the remainder of the staff. Someone probably rocks the Smart board and could hook their other peeps up with some practical and related knowledge. Someone probably WORKS their data in ways that inform their instruction like you wouldn't believe. That person could probably give the rest of the staff some pointers.
Oh yeah. I'm going there. I'm suggesting that perhaps we utilize the amazing teachers that everyone admits are out there but no one wants to point a finger at unless they are dressed entirely in leather and/or spending 18 out of 24 hours in their classrooms which is totally ridiculous....wait, where was I? Oh yes, USING OUR EXISTING EXCELLENT TEACHERS AS RESOURCES. REAL RESOURCES. And not just resources for raising test scores.
I say to all those finger pointers who have crafted quite the distraction, "Step out from behind the curtain! It's time for the show to be over."
Your hot air balloon and actual progress are waiting.