Wednesday, March 23, 2011

C&I 579 Blog Post 3

I replied to Shaun Johnson's blog At the Chalkface for Blog Post 3. Incidentally, At the Chalkface is a fantastic blog, and I am greatly inspired by Mr. Johnson's rhetoric and ideas about bringing actual change to a broken education system.

This was my response:
I certainly appreciate your impassioned and “light” educational rhetoric.
Your voice is something, at least, even if it feels redundant.
Let me encourage you not to waiver.
Yes, the fear you speak of is very real, but from my colleagues I also feel a sense of resignation. Almost as if the boulder we push up the hill flattens us each time it rolls back down. My colleagues, like you, are tired – tired of fighting and screaming and pushing for change only to watch their hard work and efforts amount to nothing, their words lost in an echoing abyss. Even the most passionate and optimistic of my teacher colleagues now seem wearied, that spark in their eye far dimmer. This is a bad place to be, and we must change. We must do something.
Improve the status of teachers? Absolutely!
Pay them more? Indeed!
Personally, I am kind of inclined to your notion of justified heated resistance. I think it might be just the thing to rekindle that dimming spark in my colleagues’ eyes.
Please keep this rhetoric coming. I am encouraged to enter this fracas and to do my part in this struggle for respect and rationality.
PS – thanks for the add on twitter!

1 comment:

  1. A very nice comment, thank you, although I do not desire to be redundant. I’ve been struggling with the whole reform conversation for the last 18 months or so. As a graduate student, I didn’t think too much about it, being so mired in idealized discussions about theory and educational philosophy. Even as a teacher years prior, I was buried so deep in the present, I could never see above the clouds, let alone the water. It was a constant tread and no energy left to fly.

    Gifted with a sense of the larger picture, I see things a bit differently as a faculty member. Part of my job is supervising student teachers, so I still have one foot in individual school politics. Perhaps redundancy and repetition is the order of the day. We hear pundits who repeat the same talking points in very clear and concise ways. I’m trying to master the same sets of skills in my blog posts because they are largely experiments in ideas for me as an alternative to some of the traditional research stuff I need to write in order to keep my job.

    I’m going to keep experimenting with ideas and we’ll see where it takes me. But there is a fine line. In order to get noticed in the education blogosphere, you either have to be very heated or vociferously pro-conservative reforms. I’d rather not drift into that heated territory, and will never consign myself to the conservative wing. The heat can sometimes burn through the rationality of arguments. I don’t know, this is relatively new turf for me and I’m enjoying the connections with new people.