Education Rethink: Rebel Without a Clue →

John Spencer—

I'm realizing that it's easy to avoid trouble as a teacher. You just find out what's important to your leaders and you do it. You put up the anchor charts and you add the word walls and you don't check out any technology so that it won't be on your head if something breaks. You assign homework even if you're not sure it's a great practice, because that's just how things are done. And in the process, you avoid meetings like the one I had today.

This paragraph sums up so many problems with teachers in schools. I've found many teachers to have a pleaser mindset. I know I do. They don't want to get in trouble or cause waves. It's so easy to do the easy thing, and so hard to do the right thing.

How many of us have seen other teachers in this spot? How many of us have done these exact things?

But as bad as today was, I'd rather look back on my teaching career and say that I tried to do right by my students than leave with the knowledge that I did everything I could to keep out of trouble. Because here's the thing: if you want to teach well, chances are you'll get in trouble. Not just a little trouble. You'll leave a meeting in tears and it will have nothing to do with your pedagogy or classroom climate.

That's what it really comes down to. The only thing that is going to make a difference is what is best for your students. Taking the coward's way out isn't going to help much. I have so much respect for John and other teachers willing to put themselves out there like this.

Make sure you read John's entire post. It's an honest take on a sad situation.

∞ Permalink