A Post of Educational Heresy

Like I said in my last post, I am a bit crabby.  And since I have declared spring positive blogging season, I have a couple more to get out of my system before the buds appear on the trees.

Let me tread on sacred ground for a moment. 

Teachers are not supposed to “bash” teachers.  We are not supposed to blame them for the problems in schools.  At least that’s what I read two other teachers write last week.

Why not?

Are we that powerless? 

Am I supposed to just believe that everyone else is responsible for the conditions except the teachers?  If they are not responsible for the conditions then can they at least be bashed for not trying to change them? 

You can’t convince me that what my kid’s do isn’t my responsibility, good or bad. 

At some point shouldn’t we take ownership of something besides just the good stuff?

If my students were complaining about some problem I would tell them to get off their butts and do something about it.  Right now we are in a unit in which the kids are working out their own Essential Questions.  They have developed some interesting questions like “How can one person make a difference?  And “It only takes one to lead.”  The content of the unit lead most of them to develop questions that revolve around the theme of “One person can make a difference.” 

Do we lack a leader?  Do we lack someone with the right pizzazz and charisma that we can all rally behind on the way to an educational revolution?

What’s that saying about “If you are not part of the solution you are part of the problem.”  Is there a middle ground that me/you/we hide in?  Tell ourselves that we are not behaving like the problem people, the kids are doing fine in my class, but yet we don’t try to solve the problem outside of our four walls. So we feel good that we are solving a problem in one classroom, but still get to gripe about the problems outside of our walls. 

I hide there.  I hide right in the middle of that saying.  I feel like I am pushing the boundaries in a middle school social studies class–we are our own sovereign state practicing a policy of isolationism.  We do open our arms to those seeking educational asylum, but do not offer any foreign aid. 

Every teacher operates with roadblocks to being successful.  One cannot blame failure on those roadblocks.  It is their responsibility to overcome them.  Figure out ways to succeed despite being told they can’t.  Persevere when they are facing overwhelming odds, and continuing to believe their course is just and right, even when given the label educational heretic.

I am responsible for what happens in my classroom, and is that overwhelming feeling of responsibility that will be the topic of my next post…

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