20 October 2011

Yes. Those Britches.

It's been a little busy around my place. Six events in four states in six weeks makes for one very tired Science Goddess. And tired leads to cranky. Cranky leads to putting on the ranty-pants.

Two of the meetings I've attended have been full of people who pride themselves on their educational leadership. And when it comes to discussions of online testing...or Common Core State Standards...the basic attitude is that "districts will figure it out." And I'm happy to give credit where it's due. Districts (read: Teachers) are competent professionals and do figure out how to manage what gets crapped on them. I also understand that when it comes to things like technology, it's unreasonable to expect that everyone will have the same hardware and bandwidth available at exactly the same moment in time. But telling districts to just "Git 'r Dun," as someone suggested at one meeting is not only crass, it's an abdication of your responsibility as a leader. You may not be able to solve every problem in every district, but you should at least provide some support and a road map. And, if you have no intention of doing so, please find another job and leave schools alone.

And speaking of technology-related things, such as online testing, it's time for tech-heads to quit whining about their outsider status in schools. As soon as you chose to separate educational technology as its own line item in budgets, you were no longer viewed as integral with curriculum and instruction. Claiming that you're futuristic in your thinking is ridiculous. Sure, you have a responsibility to look ahead and plan, but don't cry about how you're left out of current conversations. If you're not willing to help people move forward from where they are, then you don't get to complain about your exclusion from processes where that is happening. You didn't step up to help because you thought it was beneath you...that you were better off preparing for the world in a few years. Guess what? Others are now determining the path. Get over yourselves and ask where you can support the work others are doing. Don't expect them to come to you...and don't expect them to adopt your plans.

And, finally, I sat in on a presentation recently where a high-school teacher was talking about what she saw as a lack of skill development in students and told the elementary teachers in the room that they were going to have to do something about that. She justified this by saying that she used to work in an elementary school, then proceeded to detail her résumé---as if she'd "graduated" from low level work and could be the big booming voice of doom. Guess what, honey? I don't care if you worked with elementary students decades ago. No one cares that you think you're queen because you happen to have a high school job. You don't get to tell elementary teachers what to do. If you see a problem with student learning, get off your supposed laurels and fix it.

I feel better. Got a rant of your own? Borrow my ranty-pants (One size fits all!) and let off some steam in the comments.


Hugh O'Donnell said...

Great rant, SG! I'm glad that you're feeling better.

Maybe it's time to re-introduce some of your old characters. They were a lot of fun. :)

Angela Watson said...

I like when you wear your ranty=pants. Rant away any time.

The Science Goddess said...

Thanks! I won't ask if these pants make my butt look big. :)