Dec 02 2014

In fact, I challenge any candidate to find a nook or cranny

5 Ways Educators Can Take Back Their Professional Narrative

I do not personally know Governor Kasich of Ohio, and by most accounts what I have heard of him through the years is that he is a good and decent man. But intentional or not, “presidential candidate Kasich” alienated teachers last week by taking aim at their “woe is me whining” and teacher’s lounges. I understand he was joking, so as a human, and canada goose deals as an educator, I certainly forgive him. I think many other educators will also forgive him, though some may not vote for him now.

Perhaps if a candidate for president had cracked this or a similar joke a decade ago, it may have gone mostly unnoticed. But in this age of extreme teacher scrutiny, common core debates, cheap Canada Goose revamped teacher evaluation systems, textbook and funding fights, and unprecedented hyper focus on the education profession in general, wisecracks like that serve only to drive a negative narrative chipping away at an honorable profession.

Humor like that actually makes me question a candidate’s understanding of what teachers actually do. I’m not making an argument for or against a “teacher’s lounge.” Please don’t miss my point. Most teachers would laugh at that idea. In fact, most just want some uninterrupted time in their rooms so they can grade papers, work on IEP’s, prep for class or meet with parents.

Any candidate in touch with today’s schools would know that spaces once set aside as teacher’s lounges are but a distant memory. These days any extra spaces have been turned into data centers, tutoring areas, classrooms, labs or RTI headquarters. In fact, I challenge any candidate to find a nook or cranny that has not already been set aside for academics or intervention and in use all day long including broom closets. Are there teachers who whine as candidate Kasich suggests? Sure, but no more or no less than any other profession. Whiners are everywhere. But winners are everywhere too!

It’s my canadian goose jacket hope that candidates will take some time to get Canada Goose sale to know educators, teachers, principals, and administrators of all kinds. I hope they’ll spend a whole day with them, observing without politicking and without giving a stump speech from a classroom or auditorium. One caution though: Politicians should stop touting that their mom or grandma was a teacher. That might endear some folks to them, but today’s classroom is not the same as yesterday’s classroom. It just isn’t.

Candidates should just go listen and watch quietly and without an entourage. Teachers might take them more seriously if they visited without expectation of a photo op. I think most people would be impressed at how hard teachers are working, and at how much they have already incorporated campaign talking points like “data driven,” “rigor” or “evidence based” practices in their daily teaching. Contrary to what some think, most teachers appreciate the data, and evidence, and research, they just love kids more. They do all of that, but “all of that” has become the focus rather than the kids they’re teaching and any inkling of resentment is likely more for that reason.

To be fair, politicians are not all to blame for the perception of education or the way the media portrays it. Those working in education bear some of the blame for allowing politicians and others to politicize the education of children. For too long, teachers have been so disengaged from the actual decision making process that they have unwittingly allowed others to hijack the profession telling educators and parents what is best for their kids and their jobs.

I am not promoting more politicization of education. I cringe when I hear groups speak collectively canadagooseoutletcanada for “all teachers” pushing candidates who often offer lip canada goose coats on sale service to education and kids. Educators of all types have been there and done that, and got the campaign t shirt, only to come away disillusioned.

Regardless of political ideology, educators must reclaim their profession. I know you don’t seek attention. You just want to teach, but it’s time for a PR offensive of your own. It’s time for the experts to drive the narrative, and below are five ways to do that:

1. Don’t hate. buy canada goose jacket cheap Educate. Most of the misconceptions out there exist because we haven’t taken the time to educate people. I get it, educators are frustrated. But when those in the trenches come across as negative or angry to the outsiders or people canada goose outlet who don’t get it, they choose not to listen or they make educators the butt of jokes. Treat the public just like any other student who sometimes doesn’t get it. Carefully teach them at every opportunity. Intentionally teach the same concept patiently over and over in a variety of ways until you get that “lightbulb” reaction that drew you to the profession in the first place!

2. Engage in academic research and discourse. We’re educators. We went to school for this. We know things many others don’t know. Sure they know things too and canada goose we can learn from them, but they don’t know our business. We have the practical experience to observe how those practices or policies others talk about actually play out in schools and colleges. Yet, we allow the general public, politicians, and other professions to spout off statistics or research about us and what we do. Educators, come on, take back the “academics” canada goose clearance of your profession, speak the research and present the research and the outcomes. Own it!

3. Change classrooms. Taking back the narrative Canada Goose Jackets for some may mean it’s time to trade a literal classroom to the classroom of public policy. For some that may mean running for public office. “In it for the kids” doesn’t just have to be in a classroom in a school. It can be wherever education narrative or policy is being shaped. It’s possible to be “in it for canada goose coats the kids” in a number of positions. Find a new platform and teach from it.

4. Protect the Reputation of the Profession. This one might sting a little but hear me out. Changing the narrative means reshaping the reputation of the profession K12 through college, and protecting it. There are politicians and others who think those in education are lazy, and some in the profession are to blame. Do I think educators are lazy? No way. But when educators complain, people are listening. When educators publicly wish for a snow day, people are listening. When educators start counting the number of school days left Canada Goose Outlet during the first week of school, eyebrows are raised. It’s only natural that when the public hears these things they question why we chose the profession in the first place. If any of that describes you, please, keep it in the education family or keep it to yourself. to think something, but it may not be a good idea to say it, post it, or tweet it.

5. Love it canada goose store or leave it. Finally, if you’re someone who needs to call it quits, please do so. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been in education for 1 year or 50. If you don’t want to be there, please don’t torture those you work with, especially the students. My wife and I made a pact that if we ever lost our passion for education or disliked our jobs, we would retire. There are those, and we all know them, who have lost their passion. Maybe they never had passion to begin with. Maybe they don’t like canada goose clearance sale students. Those people need to go.

If you’re one of those people, you know it and everyone else around you knows it. Please go to the house or go back canada goose black friday sale to school and Canada Goose online stop giving politicians, the media, and others reason to laugh at or dismiss everyone else.

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