It has taken me a long time to work out what schools really want, what they really stand for, and who the people really are that work in them. I have always believed in school mission statements and platitudes (why I choose certain schools over others) of heavy bold print that have flowery language, such as inspire and empower or whatever seems to be the rage at the time of writing.
No matter which way you look at it, schools are all the same. They talk BIG! They promise the best education on offer to enrich and prepare for tomorrow’s world. Really?! Are we really that ignorant or stupid to pretend to be something we are not?
I am not trying to sound whiny in any way, what I do want to do is stir up a conversation. I intend on making some some waves, invite a bit of chaos to the mix. This is the only way there is ever going to be any positive change.
So where is all this frustration coming from?
When I talk with teachers, I feel as if they want to learn new things and they are open for new ideas and ways of teaching and learning. All this conversation really excites me as it should for anyone that enjoys teaching like I do. But, when it comes down to actually doing something with all the talk, I am realizing more and more that it is rather hollow. No one wants to get better. No one wants to change. Teaching is transactional and the currency is convenience. People are teaching just the way they were taught at school. It is what they know, it is what they are comfortable with, it is safe. Hence, the blog title. My confusion and frustration has set in because I thought the PYP was going to challenge those traditional ideologies and open the profession up to be creative, provoke new thinking, promote natural and authentic learning, you get what I mean.
How are we ever going to move with the times if people refuse to change themselves and move beyond their comfort zone? I have observed classes seated in rows, heads down and teacher up-front talking at 7 year olds for an hour with no interaction…. No, this is not ok.
Which person are you? Be honest….
Well, my hope is and always has been that mission statements are written as guiding lights to aspire to. Would I like to be a child in my own class? Am I really living up to what the school is selling to parents? The answer is yes. Why, because everyday I am changing and offering students a different learning experience that requires time, effort and energy. If your gut reaction to the above question is no, then please do the kids and us a favor and try another profession.
Let’s say what we mean and mean what we say.
I promise the next post will be a more positive one….