Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Thoughts on Schools

If you've talked with me for more than 5 minutes you know I'm passionate about teaching and learning. I advocate for students and I will take you down if you talk negatively about kids. Not really. I'm not super strong. But it will get me upset.

So here are some of my latest random thoughts:

Administrators are not managers. They shouldn't try to be. They should be in classrooms observing teachers, guiding them, leading them, and offering feedback. It is easy for teachers to feel isolated. And I PROMISE their are some teachers LOVING that because it means they can show up and then leave without EVER TEACHING. There are also teachers working their fannies off and would LOVE to have an administrator with which to reflect, share, and grow.

What do we really want for kids in schools? What is the real goal for learners? High test scores? Really? That's it? I'm not so sure about that. I'm kind of thinking I want Landon, Reagan, and Connor to be thinkers. I want them to ask questions, to talk, to know what they believe. Not so sure test scores measure that. It's fascinating that a lot of schools love to put all their eggs in the test score basket.

Last thought for today...Last week I observed a kindergarten classroom for several hours. It was incredible and brought my heart so much joy. She knew the learners in her care. She knew reading process. She was engaging. She encouraged them to talk and think and read and write and sing and laugh. She believed in them. It was exciting to see because she has only been teaching for a couple of years and I know she will only grow if she continues to develop professionally and is surrounded by a support system (See paragraph about administrators).

It's easy to get frustrated but there are a lot of really powerful things happening in schools every day.

Huge shout out to one of my heroes in education, Sally. She is a literacy coach in the district in which I live and is a former colleague of mine. Talk about supporting teachers- that's Sally. (Sally's also the one that brings over cookie cakes during season finales of The Bachelor so that's just another sign that she's pretty much incredible.)

I just reread this post. It's so scattered and all over the place that I laughed out loud. But I still love it so I'm publishing it. Because that's how I write when my heart is all pumpy and I'm fired up. I apologize. This piece is certainly winning no awards. :)

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