Lovely sunset

Lovely sunset

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Please stop "helping" us. Please.

I am so involved lately in advocating for what is right and just for the field of education. Everywhere you look are self proclaimed experts so eager to join the conversation about how to fix our profession. How wonderful that so many feel so empowered to offer their expertise to our leaders. How is it even possible to imagine so much good will? Or is it. Are all the "helpers" really helping? Does the teaching profession need all to succeed? I wonder.

I saw a post recently on FB showing a new concept: a public data wall where students names are posted near the benchmark they have achieved. So the entire class would be aware that "Norissa" was at the lowest indicator for that particular marker. This was obviously a suggestion from a "helper" as a way to encourage those slackers to catch up with the rest of the class.

Imagine that. I wonder if the same "helper" would like a wall for teachers? We could post names of teachers whose test scores were lowest and that would surely help them see how they had to catch up to the others. Yes. This is how our profession is currently viewed. As if we are in so desperate need of help that any, yes, any new idea would be better than what we are currently doing.


Right now. Step away from my profession. Stop offering your feeble suggestions since in doing so you are making it abundantly clear that I have no idea how to help myself. Then as you disengage yourself from my career, might you consider that whomever you have been listening to about the terrible downward spiral of education might actually be lying? Yes. They are lying to you.

My school is not failing. Schools do not fail. Systems fail to provide what children need. That is what is happening. Pockets of need are showing up all over the country demanding attention. Many children go to school everyday to escape from pretty bad situations at home. Many children go to school each day to have a nourishing breakfast and lunch. Many children each day must travel through terribly dangerous neighborhoods simply to get to school. Teachers see this day in and day out and this, this is what the helpers should be looking at.

Could I ever so gently suggest that the "helpers" look at those pockets of need? Can you agree to take those well intended suggestions and put them toward solving the real problem of poverty? Can you find a way to give needy children new clothing? Can you find a way to put a replacement refrigerator in the home where the family is using coolers to keep food fresh? Can you find a way to help a child have a happy birthday, Christmas, Thanksgiving? Can you help a teenager find a part time job? Can you get some childcare so students are staying home from school to babysit their siblings? Can you help to fill the shelves at the food cupboard? Can you work on a Habitat House? Can you volunteer to read in an elementary school? Are you really interested in HELPING?

If, instead, you are content to offer up ridiculous unproven notions that you are certain will fix those schools then really, just, stop.

We Have Got This. Thanks for your concern. We Have Got This.

Teachers have all the answers within us. We constantly monitor and adjust within our classrooms. This is how we work. Our work is never, and I mean, really, NEVER done. And we pack up at the end of every long day anyways knowing it will be right there for us the next day. Maybe the "helpers" saw this and interpreted it meant we really wanted them to help us. No. We knew from day one that we had chosen a challenging field to work in. We knew from day one it would not be easy and it isn't.

So, once again, let me make this brutally clear. WE HAVE GOT THIS. Nothing to see here, folks. Please, Please, Please go find those glaring pockets of need in your communities and help them. They truly do need your wisdom and good intentions. And by that, I mean your money. Find an organization whose mission is to really help the children and donate your time and money to them. And, you know what will ultimately happen? You really will help the children.

The field of education is not stronger as a result of all the reformer nonsense and lies. Yes, lies. It comes right back to that. What you have been told is simply not true. Look into it and you will see I am right.