I connect with some very enthusiastic, bright, and positive educators--their good work and positive attitudes are contagious. I appreciate all that they do.
I also connect with some who are typically negative and not helpful. They fear new ideas, development and risk, and instead forward the status quo while making sure that teachers stay in their places as do-its or robots: unthinking followers who are not allowed to be creative or intellectual. There are not many educators and administrators like this, but a few exist.
We can allow these naysayers to bring us down, or we can steer our teaching/learning ships away from this negativity and lack of support. In the days ahead as much as possible, I'm going to steer my teaching/learning ship in the direction of the positive, proactive, creative, and enthusiastic educators, administrators, and other stakeholders--the people who help us to rise up, do better, and teach well. I'm going to lean in the direction of listeners, cheerleaders, creators, and intellects who see education as much more than a managed program, but instead as a transformative practice that holds promise and potential for every life--not just a process to reach an agreeable average. I also want to push myself forward to be a positive and proactive educator rather than a negative, risk-free, doubter. Note we can all fall into that trap.
Fortunately there are many positive educators, administrators, families, community members, and students in my midst--many who still believe that a good education matters and the "good" in education is not all about the mean, but instead about how we serve and teach each and every child with a focus on his/her interests, passions, and needs. Education is not a one-size-fits-all affair, but instead a do-what-you-can-for-every-individual practice.
When the naysayers speak, I'll listen, but I'll remind myself of the many, many positive people out there--people willing to risk, create, commit, and develop practice to elevate what we can do for each and every student. Onward.