Thursday, November 7, 2019

Are Teachers Allowed to Think for Themselves? | gadflyonthewallblog

Are Teachers Allowed to Think for Themselves? | gadflyonthewallblog

Are Teachers Allowed to Think for Themselves? 

As a public school teacher, I am often told what to do and how to do it.
Go teach this class.
Report to lunch duty at this time.
Monitor this student’s progress in this way, that student’s progress in another way, differentiate the following, document this medical condition, write up this behavior, check for that kind of hall pass, post and teach these academic standards, etc., etc., etc.
Some of these directives I agree with and others I do not. But that is treated as an irrelevance because the one thing I’m never told to do is to think for myself.  The one thing that seems to be expressly forbidden – is that I think for myself.


Am I expected to think or just follow directions?

Does society want me to be a fully conscious co-conspirator of student curiosity or a mindless drone forcing kids to follow a predetermined path to work-a-day conformity?
Most days, it feels like the later.
Every last detail of my job is micromanaged and made “foolproof” to the degree that one wonders if the powers that be really consider teachers to be fools in need of proofing.
Teaching may be the only profession where you are required to get an advanced degree including a rigorous internship only to be treated like you have no idea what you’re doing.

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