Thursday, January 6, 2011

Can I get a copy of that?

I love to people watch.

Especially in January. Especially at the gym. Because I see a whole lot of new faces and if an actual thought bubble popped out of their head it would say, "My new year's resolution is to lose weight so here I am. I hate being here. What are those big machines over there? I want a cheeseburger." I giggle inside my head because I know they probably have good intentions but I also know in about two weeks I'll never see them again. Until next January.

I know that's true because one my new year's goals is to make 3 crafts. I hate crafts. I stink at crafts. I have no craft sense. But I made that one of my goals because I'm a grown up and I'm trying to stretch myself. So, I went to Hancock Fabrics on Monday and when I walked in everyone looked at me and I looked at them. They said words like, "Seam binding." I said words like, "Ooo, pretty." They said words like, "smocking" and "hem line". I said words like, "Neat stuff y'all have in here." And they looked at me just like I look at new people in the gym in January. And I hit the road. And they giggled inside their heads because they know I won't be back.

I made the executive decision to not be a crafter. But I'm still going to make 3 crafts. One of them is a coffee filter wreath. I copied it from Heather. A second craft is about to be hung above my sofa. I copied it from Megan. And a third craft is going to be refinishing a mirror. I copied that from the Internet.

I'm not crafty. I'm just a big 'ole copier.

I'm in love with the show "Top Chef". I loooooove to cook but I'm not a chef. Because when I cook I start by walking to my file of recipes, picking one, and copying it. Making "my own version" of a recipe looks like adding a little more salt or throwing in some garlic. A copier of recipes I am. A chef I am not.

Ready for the inevitable analogy to teaching? Thought so. Here you go.
I don't think there are a lot of teachers. I think there are a lot of people that have been hired to fill teaching positions. And I think there are few actual teachers. People-that-have-been-hired-to-fill-teaching-positions say things like, "Can I get a copy of that?" or "Can you buy me that program that teaches kids to read?". Teachers say things like, "Programs don't teach kids to read. I teach kids to read" or "I can't make a decision about that until I get to know the learners in my care" or "No thanks. I don't want a copy of that. I'm not sure it meets the needs of my class."

I love teachers. And I've been blessed to know and work with actual, real-life teachers. They make me smile big time. Teachers are purposeful, thoughtful decision makers and relationship builders.

People-that-have-been-hired-to-fill-teaching-positions are the opposite of all of that. They're copiers. They're in survival mode. They're walking around lost looking just like I do when I walk into a fabric or craft store. And if they don't grow professionally they'll just continue to call out, "Can I get a copy of that?"

And we wonder why kids aren't learning.

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