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Friday, January 08, 2016

Teacher: All Things to All People?

It was a busy, busy, busy day with multiple requests and a fair number of sensitive issues too--the kind of issues that all teachers experience as they teach--the kind that pull at your heart strings. When I face those issues with children, I smile and acknowledge the sad side, but look to the bright side too. I feel so deeply at those times and eventually something else sparks the tears that result from moments like that later in the day. 

We were also working as a team today to decide on just right RTI groups for the next leg of our Response to Intervention work. We analyzed the collected data and thought about each child. I love what we're able to do in RTI, but it takes lots of time and effort to sensitively create the groups together.

Further I passed back a slew of tests. These students like getting their results back, and they're a bit competitive too. I'm so torn between our standards-based, assessment-driven culture and what it means to be a real learner who works well with others and solve problems.

In fact a young girl in my class told me an incredible story about how she was chastised by another student for watching a video and taking a screenshot a scene to inform her online work. I told her that what she was doing was exactly what I'd hope that she would do which is to use all the resources available to her to study and learn well. I said that we had to update those who were demeaning her efforts.

It's a changing time in education with multiple agendas, levels of experience, philosophies, and attitudes about how to teach every child best, and to a large degree, everyone is right as there is no one way to do the job well--there are many ways to teach well and do a good job, and we have to work together, parents, students, educators, leaders, and community members, if we want to what we're able to do. None of us have all the answers. 

The day started in the wee hours of the morning with a lot of inspiration, but admittedly by day's end, the flame had been snuffed due purely to exhaustion and the fact that no one can be all things to all people, not even a teacher.