Friday, December 22, 2017

How Do You Respond to Educators on the Front Line of Teaching and Learning?

As an educator, it's always interesting to see how people respond to your work, questions, and ideas.

In general, family members, close colleagues, and students respond readily to the efforts I promote to teach well. Families, colleagues, and students respond with support, positive critical analysis, questions, and collaboration. Their support is dynamic and serves to build a strong teaching/learning team.

Administrative response varies. Some simply ignore emails and requests--they don't respond, and treat you like you are invisible. Others respond with a thank you or a short response which leaves you thinking if they read the material or care about what you've said. Still more respond with negative comments that quickly demean your idea and give you the message that you are not worthy of having an idea, your position is too low for voice and choice. And then there's the responses that I truly welcome, responses that respond with the research that confirms, debates, debunks, or adds to my thoughts--those administrators respond in a way that values your time and effort and continues a positive level of collaboration and development towards teaching well.

To respond to educators in ways that develop dynamic teams is best. To ignore or demean educators is to lessen the capacity possible when it comes to good teaching and learning. After all educators who are on the front lines of teaching do the work that helps students to learn, and when their questions, ideas, research, and efforts are treated with respect, then what they do develops in ways that support the best of what we can do for students.