Monday, October 24, 2016

ECET2-MA2016 Reflection One

I'm curious to know where the @teacher2teacher movement
came up with these "ingredients" - powerful ingredients for the
kind of teaching/learning environment I crave. 
I'm sure that I'll have many, many reflections from ECET2-MA2016. It was so difficult to return to school today since at ECET2-MA2016, the educators were so forthcoming with ideas, positivity, reflection, and openness, and upon returning to school the main theme was "compliance." How discouraging!

Yet I don't want to lose the good vibes, inspiration, intellect, and tremendous energy that was alive at ECET2-MA2016. There were so many moments of terrific inspiration and forward thinking. I love dynamic, inspirational environments like that.

My work outside of the school is not respected or valued by some at school. My teacher colleagues are respectful, a few administrators pay attention, and parents have been my best support, but in general it is not deemed valuable which is discouraging.

Yet I didn't get involved in ECET2-MA2016 for school kudos, recognition, or praise, I got involved because I believe in the tenets of the event, the ingredients that lead to teacher empowerment and better service to children. I truly enjoy working with dedicated, forward thinking teachers and leaders, and that's what happened at ECET2-MA2016. That also happens at edcamps, MTA conferences, Educon, NBPTS, CTQ, and other noteworthy educator events. It happens too in my classroom when it's the children and me--I can really work with the children to get to a place of dynamic teaching and learning, and thankfully I enjoy the support of family members and close colleagues in this regard too.

My quest for dynamic schools has been noted as "overwhelming" in the system where I teach. Years ago when I attended a terrific conference at Google, I was told not to take what I heard seriously because it only represented "a few people." There's few that value my vision or support my quest to teach well, and I have so many administrators in charge of my work that it's challenging to keep track of all the rules and protocols I receive.

So what's a teacher to do?

Here, I have to comply whether I agree or not. I will continue to ask questions, but I will need to be satisfied with few to no answers and less interest. I'll continue to seek outside agencies and groups to energize the work I can do for children. I must say that I'm ending today in tears, tears of discouragement. I've had so much hope that all of the reading, research, and work I do would promote positive change in the place where I teach, but on days like this it's difficult to see anything but the need to comply and do as I'm told. It's ever so discouraging.

I'll take some time to think, follow the rules at hand, and do what I can to teach well within the parameters I'm expected to follow at this time. Onward.