This post goes out to the educational leaders. Not all the leaders to be sure, but those who write and speak publicly at conferences, who travel around and make their living educating the educators, inspiring us, moving us forward in a new direction. I read your blogs. I bask in your brilliance, I've tried, as a teacher, to join the oft-referenced "conversation," to be one who, in the words of Will Richardson, is "reading and participating already. On some level, they get it."
I understand that you're frustrated, waiting for everyone to get it and schools to change already. But the criticism from on high, the putting-down of those you are supposed to be leading, how is that part of the solution? I'm finding a lot of the posts about bad schools to be pretty unproductive. It will be easy for you to dismiss me (I'm pretending that you read my blog).
Actually, I am working pretty hard to bring real change to a real school and I've looked to you for answers, for ideas, help, a path to take, inspiration. To me, your job seems easy - you stand on the outside and offer your critique.
I've noticed that my reader has really changed over the eight months I've been part of the blogosphere. I used to read many of your blogs, you know, the blogs everyone reads. At first I was wowed by the writing and the ideas (you never responded to any of my comments, but you want me to participate). Over the months I've found these blogs, for the most part, more and more useless. Now my reader, full as ever, is filled with the blogs of those who actually teach and those leaders who I think "get it."
I'm not making any lame excuses for my school or any others. But, as a teacher, I know and so should you, that you don't entice people to learn and grow and change by belittling their efforts. Criticism has its place, but I can't imagine trying to teach a child through constantly telling them how much they don't know, how far they have to go, how much they just don't get it.
Yes, it is frustrating that schools and teachers and administrators aren't getting it faster and change hasn't happened, like 10 years ago.
But, what can we DO to make it happen NOW?