Thursday, February 16, 2017

The King of the Hill is Typically not a Good Teacher

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Did you play King of the Hill as a child? I did, and inevitably the game ended when someone toppled down the heap of snow or small embankment into the pavement below. Yet, we had fun initially and especially when the heap of snow was surrounded by lots of white fluffy snow so the injuries were late in coming.

In schools, sometimes, there are professionals who want to be King of the Hill. In fact, I think that all of us at one time or another are ego driven in this way. The truth of the matter is, however, that the good teacher is not "King of the Hill." The good educator does not push or shove his/her way to the top, but instead collaborates in ways that make everyone they work with (students, families, colleagues, citizens and administrators) winners. I believe that rather than a hill, good educational organizations and systems have greater "flattened" hierarchy, the kind of leveled playing field where everyone has a chance to rise.

As I continue my teaching, I'll think to myself, Does this or that action support a King of the Hill mindset, or does it support a teach all children well mindset? This is an easy vision to keep in one's head and a quick check that "Ambition supports mission, rather than the other way around when ambition trumps mission." Onward.