Thursday, September 20, 2012

A teacher's lament . . .

I don't know how I found this viewpoint on SchoolBook by Arthur Goldstein, a New York City Public school teacher, but I'm glad that I did.  I believe that his words will resonate with many teachers across the country and probably in our own school system.  His reality and the mental models that come through his description of the Thing describe why some teachers respond to change with a negative mental model.

I would like to think that the learning experiences we create for teachers are different and that our focus over time on Classroom 10 would demonstrate commitment and opportunity for personal growth.  My conversations with administrators and teachers, however, would suggest that there are those that share Goldstein's mental models.  So, if you want to read about the Thing you can find it here.  Let me know what you think.

1 comment:

Scott Mitchell said...

Amy sent me this article and she may have sent it to you also. It is an interesting insight and I see these mental models in our system often. I would even admit I have some of these same thoughts from time to time. What I feel is most frustrating in a system is it seems that right when you have mastered one thing the "next thing" comes along and you feel like you never have anytime to use what you just mastered. Some call this life long learning and always striving for being better but to be honest sometimes we just want to be really good at something without moving on.

I also read this article through the new evaluation lens. The last sentence of the article says "If we are different, if students learn differently, if writers write differently, can’t we at least ponder the possibility that teachers can teach differently, and still teach well?" I worry that with a new evaluation system we are trying to make clone teachers, everyone doing the same thing, and everyone teaching the same exact lesson. We all are unique and with evaluation being one the "next things", I hope that it makes us all better.