You Say you want this, so why are you doing that...Redux
It is with mixed emotions that I write on Joe’s blog today. His wife Tamara has asked me to do this, and I feel ready just after a year of losing my best friend.
Joe Bower will always have a profound impact on my life, just like he has on many people he came into contact with and I am a better teacher and person for knowing him for over 15 years. Joe and I talked about so many topics over that time, most of those represented well in his blog. Joe was a prolific writer, and suggested I pen some of my own thoughts. We would be talking and he would yell “That’s a blog post Kelly!” so here I go…
You Say you want this, so why are you doing that… Redux
In 2011, Joe wrote a blog post about this topic and I aim to expand it a little.
After teaching for 27 years, I have come to the conclusion that the vast majority of people in education are in it for the right reasons and are principled in their intentions. I also find, however, that there are many educational practices that do not jive with what I feel kids really need.
Now, I am not SO arrogant that I think all share my progressive values, so I try my best to have conversations with my colleagues from time to time about educational philosophy. Most of the time, the dialogue is engaging, messy, and thought provoking ( at least to me…). I see the passion in these people, they love kids, they love teaching. They DO see the chasm between what they know kids need and what schools often deliver- and it often makes them sad.
So….If teachers want to make changes, why don’t they act on it? Some of the answers, I believe, are:
- They think they need permission
- They do not want to hurt peoples feelings or feel they are being unprofessional by not doing what others are doing
- They often do not have a forum for such discussion
For the sake of brevity, I will focus on the last point.
I find it interesting that we find it important to have teacher education programs that include philosophy of teaching and learning, but once student teachers for the love of learning: You Say you want this, so why are you doing that...Redux: