But these stories don’t mean anything
without someone to tell them to
I think Brandi Carlile has it right. The stories of our lives, what we’ve experienced, what we’ve seen don’t mean anything without someone to listen.
So here’s to you!
For listening to my stories and my ramblings.
Yesterday at the SWP Fall Renewal Conference, Barry Lane entertained us with song parodies about the cultural climate of the public school system. He’s a good writer and he knows teachers. It was nice to be able to laugh at the ridiculous turn that public schools have taken.
But as I looked at my fellow laughing colleagues, I felt scared.
This summer as I was a part of the Spartanburg Writing Project’s Summer Institute, we were encouraged to find our professional voice. As I found mine, I realized how much teachers have been silenced. I realized how scared teachers are. I realized how few teachers there were who wanted or willing to do anything about it.
I felt scared yesterday because these teachers and I were laughing about being not being treated as professionals. We were laughing at being silenced.
I don’t work at a school. I don’t work for a district. I’m an outsider in a lot of ways, but I know the pressures that you as teacher feel everyday because I’ve been there.
From the outside looking in, we shouldn’t be laughing. We should be outraged.
I attended Spartanburg Writing Project’s Fall Renewal Conference yesterday. All of the attendees had name tages with their school or district name on them.
I didn’t have a school.
I didn’t have a district.
But I am a teacher.
It’s seems like a contradiction.
How can you be a teacher without a school?
How can you be a teacher without a classroom?
And there in lies the future of education.
Teachers have long resisted outsiders who compare public schools to a business model, citing results and products as the most important determining factor for funding and teacher pay scales.
This idea discounts and forgets that humans are unpredictable, especially third graders!
Current state mandates are pressurizing the classroom and teachers. We are worried about losing funding. We fear losing our jobs if we don’t produce results.
These aren’t the biggest concerns for me as a young teacher. For me, it even scarier to see teachers who have lost their passion for teaching, for learning and worst of all children.
Sam Harrelson of PayPerTrends writes:
So, follow your passion(s). It will take time, but it will be worth your time, trouble and investment if you keep the fire alive.
Another bit of advice from successful bloggers:
So, find your passion first. Soon, money will follow.
If the government were getting paid for the number of times teachers, administrators and parents use the terms “test scores,” “AYP” or “at risk,” our schools would be fully funded. They have marketed hard and fast to scare teachers into thinking they don’t know what they are doing.
We need to be smarter marketers. Keep the fire alive.
In the middle of this new pathway, I am discovering that there are many more similarities than I thought there would be. I am entrenched in tons of reading and critical thinking both of which I love.
In one of my commentaries, in talking about the creation, the authors say that creation isn’t over, but rather that humans share a responsibility to participate in creation for the great purpose of
bringing the world along toward it’s fullest possible potential.
Although I wasn’t as articulate as this commentary, I would tell my students continuously that I believed that they could change the world. I would tell them that we need them to discover new and better ways to live and interact with each other. I would tell them that they were creators.
Hey now, this is my desire
Consume me like a fire, ’cause I just want something beautiful
To touch me, I know that I’m in reach
‘Cause I am down on my knees, I’m waiting for something beautiful
Oh,Oh,Oh something beautiful
Need to Breathe “Something Beautiful”