Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Stay in your lane?

I get in a lot of trouble because I often veer off of what people consider to be my lane as a classroom teacher. Why do I steer out of my lane?

I steer out my lane because my lane is affected by so many other lanes. Teaching is impacted by politics, family life, community events, administrative decisions, staff roles, and processes. If I stay in my lane, it means I have to accept what is, and sometimes that means accepting what is less than positive for my students or my work.

One example is a past experience with an annual awards event. Awards were given to students who were in school the most and who achieved in particular subject areas. Every year it seemed like the same privileged young students received the same awards while those less privileged received no awards. This awards ceremony, rather than inspiring young students, served to support the status quo. I suggested that we change the awards to awards based on students' strengths and interests to help young children hold on to something they were good at or something they had great interest in. I knew this would create a situation where the awards for young children served to inspire betterment rather than simply support the status quo. I veered out of my lane to make this suggestion. My movement to another's area of leadership was not regarded well, and the change was never made. Am I sorry that I crossed lanes. Not at all, because I know what our mission is, and I know the idea expressed would be better for our mission than the what was currently in place at the time.

We have to regard well the voices of those we work with and impact when we make decisions. We have to welcome people into our lanes of decision making, and when we do, we have to acknowledge that none of us have the monopoly on all knowledge or good decision making. Generally we do better together.

Do you stay in your lane? How is this positive and how might it not be positive? I'll be thinking more about this in the days to come.