Monday, October 26, 2015

Trust Yourself - Week Eleven

"The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them." Ernest Hemingway

Successful outcomes are never built on foundations of doubt. Any enduring work is established through trust. Trust in the workers who carry out the project, trust in the vision for the work and trust in the very process itself. The same is true inside the four walls (or through the fiber optic cables) of your classroom. Educating children well has to start with trusting in our teachers. Unfortunately, it seems that teachers are not trusted enough.

You are given scripted curriculum, assigned irrelevant professional development sessions and given district/state level assessments that are disconnected from what you can realistically cover in a week's worth of instruction. And if that is not enough, technology is brought in to perform better what the mis-aligned assessments have reported back that you didn't do well. This practice does not honor teachers, teaching and the students themselves. It must end.

You have the power to end this practice simply by trusting yourself. You, who have gone through specialized training and have passed rigorous  exams, are the professional expert in the classroom. You are the S.M.E.(subject matter expert) on your students. It is time to trust yourself again. Trust your ability to align standards, scope and sequence together in a way that does not lock-out the cultures, interests and needs of your students. Trust yourself.

Trust that the basics of pedagogy (planning, teaching and assessment) still work today. Trust in your ability to adapt to the changing needs of the 21st century student. And trust in your students enough to know that if you conduct yourself with intention, care, professionalism and respect - they will feel it and respond accordingly. You can do this.

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