Are we REALLY the Antidote?

I came across this fantastic Justin Stortz quote in my Twitterstream the other night.

Now if you’ve read the Radical for any length of time, you know that I couldn’t agree with Josh’s sentiment more.  I’ve written time and again about the exhaustion I feel at serving as America’s punching bag.

Every time some political clown crows about his or her determination to break education–and by default, us in-the-trenches-teacher-folk—to pieces, it leaves me even more determined to fight back.

But every time that I see stagnant educators pushing traditional instructional practices and resisting any kind of attempt to rethink what teaching and learning should look like in our ever-shifting world, I wonder if we REALLY ARE the antidote that we THINK we are.

So what do YOU think?

As a profession, do we have the potential to be the influential change agents that Josh speaks of?

More importantly, are we acting on that potential?  Are working to ensure that ALL of our schools are places of intellectual healing or are we perpetuating structures and practices that do more harm than good?

Do you see public schools as society’s antidote?

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Related Radical Reads:

Breaking Education to Pieces

Declaring War on Teachers

 

Quote by Justin Stortz, @newfirewithin

http://twitter.com/#!/newfirewithin/status/111200150277468160

3 comments

  1. Paul C

    Which is cheaper though:
    Firing one non-special teacher (and training a new one) OR Providing meaningful PD to convert more of them into special teachers?
    There’s the rub.

  2. Hatcherelli.wordpress.com

    You know, Bill, as teachers we are our own worst enemies. We want people to treat us like professionals but many of us don’t act that way. How many times have you heard a teacher say, “I’m just a teacher.”
    As you say, we act as public punching bags. We need to stand together as a group of professionals and let everyone know what a difficult job we do. As RR says, we need to deal with the issues and fight the battles.
    It takes a special person to be a great teacher!

  3. RR

    Here’s the question: Why have we allowed politicians to get involved? I have no love for politicians, but I’m going to give them credit– they recognize there is an issue and are trying to do something about it– even if it is severely misguided.
    We (as a profession) have put ourselves in this position by not dealing with the issues ourselves. Because of our lack of action, we now have to deal with less local control and a lack of respect.
    The recent emphasis on professional development will serve us well in the future, but it should have started about 40 years ago.
    I am hopeful that things will turn around, but we will have a tough struggle in the meantime.
    For those wanting ed reform– start in your own classroom; the teacher is still the most powerful influence in the classroom.
    There are a lot of great educators out there so I believe that we will take back education, but for now we have to pay the piper.