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Saturday, February 11, 2017

Teach Well: Follow the Rules

At Educon, Deborah Meier discussed the fact that any teacher can be fired for insubordination. As teachers know administrators use this when a teacher is not living up to the expectations of their teaching work. Also, if you're a teacher that questions or promotes new ideas, some may find you to be "overwhelming" or undesirable, and attempt to use "insubordination" to get rid of you. If you research this, you'll find that this can happen to veteran teachers who are outspoken like me so I always have to be on my toes. Believe me, it's not a comfortable place to be.

"Insubordination" is tricky since most educators are asked to follow countless rules. In the system where I teach, the rules and protocols list takes almost an entire day to read and digest--that's a lot of rules. Further, this week I was reminded of a a number of new tech department rules related to student privacy. While I honor the intent of these rules, I found the process to be troubling since the forms I have to fill out don't match the need or intent of the technology I desire to use.

I will follow the rules to the best of my understanding. I searched the school websites to find an updated list of permissible technology, but was unable to find that list. Then I reached out to receive an updated list of acceptable technology. I received notice that I will receive that list when it is ready.

Earlier this week I reached out with a number of questions to understand the math progression for next year well so I can be prepared to follow those directives.

Truly I want to be a collaborative educator, but I also want to teach in modern, innovative, brain-friendly, student-centered ways. This work means that we have to discuss tough issues, dig deep, and learn together--it's not a simple science, and it's a science/art that profits from distributive leadership and collaborative effort.

I will think about how to best navigate this road as I meet this latest obstacle. I've reached out for understanding, and will follow the directives I am sent. Onward.