Thursday, April 9, 2015

We Are Family

Spending some time on my soapbox, Lori

Something happened to me the other day that I just have to share with my Curly friends. This story won't lead to student outcomes, but my hope is that it will lead to teacher outcomes. Like many good stories, this one all starts with a Facebook post.

In a regular post, a former Facebook friend of mine copied and pasted an email from his teenaged son's high school counselor. The email was kind and relayed information about upcoming events that would help students register for classes and also provided info for a parent night that the school was hosting. There were two typos, and the original poster asked people to "count the errors." He couldn't believe the horror of what he was seeing. Ok. Whatever.

Throughout the evening, it got worse. I watched comment after comment pour in absolutely slamming this counselor for two typos. One commenter even suggested that the email should be sent to local newspapers, so that everyone could see these two errors. People loved that idea. Comments ranged the gamut from, "Wow. Really?!" to "Ugh. That's just pathetic." 

Curly Classroom pals, I promise you that I am not one to get involved in stupid Facebook drama. No ma'am. Not at all. But on this particular issue, I'd had it. I posted a single comment standing up for the counselor and telling others that public educators are under way to much scrutiny. Then I quickly unfriended the original poster. Because ain't nobody got time.
Proof that if someone talk trash about a teacher, I've got the teacher's back.

Here's why. 

Teachers, we are family. Public education has been under so much scrutiny and sometimes it feels like people are simply waiting for a teacher to do something wrong. This event has me so bothered, but it really has me thinking about what I can do. I have a very small circle of influence. But in that small circle, I have a responsibility to protect my family of educators. That's twofold: (1) Don't let anybody slam public education. (2) Don't slam public education myself. I know we get tired and we get frustrated, but if I'm going to talk about my job in line at the grocery store or at a dinner party, then I need to look past the flaws in the system and talk about what's great. 

The great things include awesome (and often overlooked) teachers and really great kids. And, even though we have strict mandated state testing that contributes to our bad reputation--I would argue that the challenge of state testing alone has pushed me to be a stronger educator in pursuit of authentic learning experiences. 

What tops your list of great things? We have to have an answer ready. 

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