No, #Reform is Not “trending”

You know, there are a handful of things that drive me nuts. Okay, fine, maybe more than a few. But in regard to #EdReform, there are a few. When talking about #EdReform, some folks feel compelled to either brag or complain about the school that they attended…in the 80s. Right, Men Without Hats was awesome and your school was not. We get it. Or, Debbie Gibson was the worst, but your school rocked. Fine. #EdReform is not the time for out of context discussion and what ifs–no, really, I can help…since I have no idea what goes on in the classroom, I’ll be a good out of the box thinker. No, you will not. Go get us some chips.

The fact that we have to talk about #EdReform is a sad day. There should be no enjoyment of the rallies and no late-night laugh-fests about the problems we are having. We are not reminiscing about the old days. We are discussing a system that is broken. Sadly and sorely and perhaps irreparably broken. And we are the ones who can fix it. Teachers.

Pennies for your thoughts or real change?

I mentioned this to @tshreve in response to a post on Twitter. “The fact that education is the solution does not mean that it is (or was ever) the problem.” Educators are the ones who hold the solutions to the issues in education right now. I do not say that to be separatist, but it is we who need to get our house in order so we are able to return it to its rightful place.

Unfortunately, there are many who are making their living off of criticizing education. Sheisters, chancers, and ne’er-do-wells who parade around in teachers’ clothes claiming that they have the insights and solutions that are needed. Gary Stager’s comment that “unqualified is the new qualified” is terrifyingly true–and we wonder what went wrong!!! It is trendy to by “untainted” by “teacher school.” That is a sad statement.

If we want real reform, we have to begin with what is most important–in no order: kids, teachers, schools. The focus of our energy, the conductor of that energy, and the context of that interaction.

Let us make the decision to keep it simple. Quality #EdReform is not performed by swinging the pendulum to the opposite side. It is not performed by those who have a monetary stake in the game. It cannot be “won” but it must be fought for. It cannot be ignored.

I have a belief that the knowledge that I need exists among the people whom I teach on any given day of the week. As a teacher, it is my job to draw that knowledge out and to facilitate the meaningful construction of that knowledge. It takes some faith, I know–this approach has served me well. I have the same belief about our #EdReform needs. Everything that we need and every resource that we have already exists. We must come together to draw it out and construct it. We need the faith of those with the power to support these efforts. What school, district, or state would be willing to give a busload of committed educators the reins to their schools? Let’s do it.

Who’s with me?

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6 Comments

  • I am! Where do we start?

  • […] NO, #REFORM IS NOT “TRENDING” […]

  • […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by David Britten and Dr. David D. Timony, Dr. David D. Timony. Dr. David D. Timony said: Alright. Here's mine. #blog4reform http://ow.ly/3dV1d "No, #Reform is Not 'Trending'" #edchat #ecosys […]

  • I wonder if you are really that good
    of a person. I think you probably are,
    knowing you from our mutual workplace,
    as well as seeing how you talk in this
    blog.

    Personally I like the idea of forcing
    parents to be focused on their child’s
    education through harsh laws.

    I had strict parents who controlled me
    like a puppet so I had no choice but
    to find a way to perform in school, but
    I also liked reading and filling my
    head up with ideas….it fueled my
    imagination which created good and bad
    consequences.

    I am a closet fascist so I think the
    parents who don’t raise their kids
    right should be re-educated in camps.,
    or ,”seminars”….by force of law.

    The flash mobs in Philly are a result
    of bad parenting.

    School administrators refuse to bring
    some discipline to those kids who are
    clearly without parental support. So
    I hope for re-education camps for kids
    who are severely disruptive.

    I like your spirit but I suspect you
    might want to do things the ,”nice”,
    way and it won’t work without the
    threat of violence through law.

    Perhaps teachers should have the right
    to punish a student who does not want
    to cooperate with the ,”program”.

    The other problem is some kids are
    fucked in the head and you have to
    separate students into categories.

    I was one of those screwed up kids
    and I was lumped in with everyone else
    despite my mental health problems. I
    was bullied and learned what hate was
    and became a potential, “Columbine”,
    case.

    Even though I eventually became a good
    student because I was into books and culture/art., I was on my way to the
    place that serial killers go to.

    Ironically I had strict parents, and
    a decent, but abusive homelife, but I
    still have trouble being mature according to the standards of my age group.

    You mean well Dr. Timony, but you will
    not bring the hammer down on your class
    because your administrators will not
    let you…they fear the media, and law
    suits. Our youth learn what they want
    to know through entertainment media
    anyway so you teachers are really doing
    a service that is almost ceremonial.

    You cannot compete with the TV and the
    internet, which are like drugs.

    You might get the odd little genius who
    can be encouraged to get a PHD but most
    post-graduate candidates are egomaniacs
    who want power and prestige.

    Are you the only one among your fellow
    teachers that actually believes in the
    process of education?.

    I am not sure you will have many allies
    in your struggle against complacency.

    I would not risk your job/income
    considering that you are a family man.

    Collect your salary, save money and
    then move onto perhaps opening up your
    own school where you can do your own
    thing in terms of educating.

    Who am I to give you advice though?.

    Perhaps you see something in the kids
    you teach that I do not. I just see
    a bunch of animals that need to be
    whipped into shape.

  • I also think it’s difficult to know where to start. Or
    rather, I should say that we don’t need to start again at all. I
    think we need to gather up tons of examples of “what works” and
    then slowly work to replace what doesn’t work with what does. That
    might sound abstract, but (if we’re honest) we there’s no other
    safe way to change the system. Grass roots experimentation all the
    way. A bit of a pitch (if you’ll forgive me), but I’ve set up
    http://www.teachshare.org to try to gather good practice.

  • “We must come together to draw it out and construct it.” <--- Yes! And real ed reform does come from bottom up: kids, teachers, schools. I also appreciate what you said about teachers. And educators well-versed in curriculum-based instruction and standards-based education need to sort out proper use of assessment.

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