Thursday, September 22, 2016

Moving up the Teaching Hill

I must say I enjoy the teaching now more than ever. Students are eager to learn and the parents are teaming with us to support program efforts. There's so much that we're able to do with this three-teacher team model.

The systems that are school, however, are often challenging. I am such a big fan of changing schools as we have always known them. There has been some good progress such as tech integration, a computer for every child, good tech hardware, awesome field trips, more collaboration time, a wonderful schedule, great books, and the way we often differentiate to teach all children well in our classrooms and as a whole team.

I am so hungry now for the use of distributive leadership in schools--models where teachers actually have substantial voice and choice over how they teach and learn. Too often it becomes a challenge to teach a child well because there so many rules and mandates for doing otherwise--cumbersome efforts that often don't relate well to the day to day ongoings and children in a classroom, efforts decided by people far from the children and the teacher.

This is not to say that I have all the answers. In fact there's nothing I like more than to work with a small group of invested educators with same goals. I love that. What we can do when that happens is incredible. I also like to reach out to experts online, through books, and in real time to develop my practice. I don't mind challenges too as I know those challenges help me to learn and stay fresh.

I guess the challenging part is the many decisions made for me without my input, decisions that might not even reflect current research or even the best interests of a child.

Distributive leadership provides educators with voice, choice, and autonomy, mastery, and purpose--it allows us to work together to develop our craft well in streamlined, focused ways. Teachers, in general, are good people who chose the job because they care about children and know that education has the potential to make a difference in people's lives. We have what it takes to lead our work well, and most of us want the chance to do this.