I’ve oft thought that it would be cool to have a live feed into my classroom, a live video stream into 219, where parents and public could tune in and watch at least one episode, among thousands, of public education–live, in the moment. On one hand, it would provide authentic accountability for me, letting those I serve observe if I am making good on their investment. Yes, pressure, taking my always-open-door policy to a new level, but welcome pressure–at least for me. I believe teachers, just as kids, perform better when they are held to “somebody-truly-cares,” high expectations, a combination that I believe leads to genuine motivation. High expectations must reflect a high standard of care. I know that high expectations matter little to kids if they don’t believe we care. I think teachers are no different. And because I think there are times that we doubt that our public really cares, we don’t always rise to the occasion, and we often dwell in mediocrity. Please don’t mistake what I am saying. Most teachers work really hard, going above and beyond, and much of the public does care, but because of some barriers that exist, I think there are times when this gets lost in translation, and we feel forgotten. A look inside–the live feed–could possibly break down some of those barriers.
Additionally, on the other hand, it would provide greater visibility for those we serve. They could see–right now–what is going on in public education. They could see both the successes and challenges that students and teachers alike experience on a minute-to-minute basis in America’s classrooms, which I believe would then lead to two key ingredients to communicating the care necessary to propel us to consistently meet higher expectations in the classroom, a recipe for authentic accountability. The first ingredient is interest. Teachers, as with anyone, feel like others care when they take genuine interest in what we’re doing, when they see our dreams, our struggles, and our successes. Sadly, and it’s not really anyone’s fault, there is no practical way for this to happen, and that’s too bad, for a teacher’s journey can be lonely; we need support. And that is the second key ingredient, but it can only be added to the batch if the first ingredient is already there. So how do we secure the first ingredient? How do we get all to take a genuine interest in the journey of public education? How do we change the narrative from the majority of concern being focused on standardized-test scores and grades to more concern being focused on the need for public education to finally evolve and better meet the demands of a changed and changing world? No simple answer I’m afraid. But I am willing to do different. I am willing to wire my classroom, to let the public in, let them follow my journey–an opportunity for interest, an opportunity for support. Truly. If someone knows of a way that I can secure the means to make this a reality, please contact me, and we will get to work. Maybe I need to write Bill Gates a letter. Maybe. Until then, the best I can do is open my door even more and offer a standing invitation to any and all to visit room 219. Join my journey.
Wow. Didn’t intend to go there this morning. Sorry. All I really wanted to do was send a “wish-you-were-here” message out to all, for the students’ projects and presentations have been remarkable this week. Truly magical moments, and though I am sharing another link of another awesome movie, it’s not the same if you aren’t in 219. Door’s open. Always.
A note on the link. It’s about bullying and there are some offensive terms, so watch with caution. Kasia had my permission to include the terms; they are not gratuitous; they are necessary for they reflect a reality…well, part of a reality. Sadly, the full reality is far worse.
Have a great Wednesday, all.
- Self-image, Siblings, and Knees: Morning Minutes, February 2, 2016
- Not So Fast, Syrie: Morning Minutes, February 4, 2016