Stop Pretending . . . .

Posted: April 18, 2015 in Uncategorized

Over the past week I have seen #MakeSchoolDifferent on Twitter and several people writing about “We have to stop pretending”. I was tagged by David Hendershot in his post We Need To Stop Pretending. I also enjoyed reading Scott Haselwood and Scott McLeod as they shared their thoughts.

So what are my 5 thoughts that we need to stop pretending? Well, it’s not as easy as just saying them. I’ve been putting a lot of thought into this.

  1. We need to stop pretending that students can do the “extra” work that we assign. Students have so many things happening in their lives, so expecting them to focus only on school is not possible. There are students who go home to broken families. There are students who go home to busy sports schedules. Very few students go home to an environment of both parents being home to help them with their homework.
  2. We need to stop pretending that the state assessments are their final. This past week my students took their state math assessment. Now, as we have five weeks left of school, they are looking at me and wondering why I don’t have movies scheduled for the rest of the year. WHAT?!?!? Our learning is not over. We can go back and review what we’ve been working on (some are still struggling with the concepts) as well as begin preparing them for next year. If I stop teaching now, then students are not just having the summer 3 month slump to lose information, I’m making it a 5 month slump! The school year does not end with state assessments.
  3. We need to stop pretending that the four walls of the school is where learning occurs. Students learn more outside of the classroom than they do inside the classroom. Sometimes what they are learning outside is going to help them more than inside, so we need to build on those strengths. However, many times what students are learning outside is not going to help them be successful. We need to help build citizens inside the classroom. We need to help them see how to be successful in life. That doesn’t always mean going to college, but many times just how to stay out of trouble and find a life they want to be proud of living.
  4. We need to stop pretending that using flashy technology is the only way to teach. Would it be exciting to teach in a 1:1 setting? Of course! I’ve been there! However, some of the more exciting times was when I made them put the computer away and actually work on paper. Students worked diligently when I had them create a scale drawing from their favorite cartoon character. Some of the work is amazing! This year I discovered that you don’t need white boards and that you can just use the desk. Students love writing on the desk! Also, it allows students to write as large or small as they want when doing their work. I can also walk around the room and see their work much easier and be able to help them more. It’s ok to put the technology away at times, the kids won’t hate you.
  5. We need to stop pretending that the schools will provide the professional development that you need as an educator. Each and everyone educator needs to seek out their own personal learning. Yes, you, the individual! Just like the students, we are all different. We need different things in order to better ourselves so we can teach. If we wait to be told what to learn, then we are behind. I seek out my own learning and I am behind so many great educators. However, don’t let that discourage you. Grab a new concept and enjoy it!

There are so many more things than five that we need to stop pretending, so go check out the hashtag. Also, because we are all in different roles, I want to challenge these five people to write their own list of what we need to stop pretending.

So here’s to Nathan Lang, Joy Hofmeister, Melonie Hau, Amanda Dykes and AJ Bianco.

  1. PD by teachers for teachers – this is a must! And some funding when necessary to get this would be nice. We should always seek to improv our craft!

  2. Fantastic list, Anthony. #5 is SO important given that so much of school-delivered PD isn’t very good. We have an incredible wealth of learning opportunities available to us these days. We need to get everyone connected to those!

    Thanks for participating!

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