I recently attended a teacher evaluation meeting and was taken aback by a few observations very appropriate to this blog because after 32 diverse and rewarding years, I too see myself as an inquiry teacher. At the dinner meeting, graciously hosted by my administrators, a cohort of teachers shared their Personal Growth Plans- an optional process for professional evaluation. I listened to brief reports from teachers that were indicative of some very sincere, passionate and progressive teaching practices and goals. Motivating examples of fellow colleagues, young and old, striving to provide excellent opportunities for teens. I disappointedly also recognized some flaws in how we provide professional development and deliver programs in our public school. I also heard our Principal and Vice Admin share their PGP work. hearing them share what they aspire to do to improve was a rewarding few moments. These passionate people, teachers and administrators, , like George Couros writes, have tired days. It’s a difficult task educating children in our complex times. We are tired. I suppose if we are not something isn’t right, yet we must find balance to remain effective and healthy. Each educator has unique challenges. As a teacher-librarian, my role is diverse and often misinterpreted but the inquiry teacher is more meaningful and also challenging than ever. I’m tired. 🙂 I seek long term collaboration and service but also get inundated hourly with the pressing needs of students and staff. Specialist, non-enrolling teachers are ducks out of water in our system in many ways yet they provide critical support in so many ways. The recent swing to inquiry process and project based learning, along with the technology web2.0 tsunami, has really put my expertise and roving access under demand. I’m tired. 🙂 So when I read Couros’ blog post and now Shelly Wright’s response, I was again rejuvenated by this new connected learning paradigm that allows me to stay engaged with such intelligent professionals so far away and yet so close to home. I’m tired but never feel alone. My school colleagues, my admin team and my PLN have given me new perspectives. If you are not connected to educators online you should be because the support, wisdom and joy of the fraternity refreshes those fatiguing days. Thanks George. Thanks Shelley. Thanks team.
Friday afternoon, while sitting in an airport, I read a recent post by George Couros entitled “I’m tired“. I was incredibly impressed, not just because he’s a friend, but because of the sheer audacity & frankness of his words. How often are people in leadership that honest? Reflecting on that post for the past three days has led me to writing this post.
I struggle. I struggle with where I am & what I’m doing. I struggle with the educational system as we know it. I struggle with the painfully slow pace of change. I struggle with people in power who say they care about kids, but don’t do the hard things to make a really huge difference in creating a learning environment that matters. With all the research that exists, we know what’s good for kids. Let’s not pretend otherwise. I’m tired of all of the talking…
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