SOL 19: Change or no change… that is the question.

So here is the thing I have been thinking A LOT about lately.

I have been an educator for 28 years. I say that and it seems like a lot… and that’s because it is. I think back to when I first started and the teachers who started 28 years before me were old… I’m not old. Sure, the young teachers probably think I am, but I don’t.

Something I have been noticing lately is how quick we are to change certain things in education while other things we keep the same… year after year after year. Is this because no one wants to take it on? Is it because it’s not worth taking on? Is it because someone hasn’t asked? I don’t know… but it has me wondering.

  • Why do we have parent teacher conferences for three half days (Tues-Thurs) in a row, then teach a full day on Friday?
  • Why do we insist on silence in the cafeteria when a room of teachers couldn’t stay silent if you paid them?
  • Why do I park in the same spot every day and wonder why someone is in my spot when I come in on a random morning? Doesn’t she know it’s my spot?  (No I don’t have a numbered spot)
  • Why do we use antiquated paper and pencil for signing up for things in schools when there are SO many great technological advances? Examples: Conferences, lunch count, etc.
  • Why do we try to create a middle school structure in an elementary school and hope the kids and teachers will make it work?
  • Why do we allow kids to miss Science and Social Studies for band/orchestra lessons, but not math and reading? What message does that send?
  • Why do we have half days of school for teacher professional development? Why can’t we build in real time for teachers to truly develop as professionals… not three hours after teaching for four hours and wolfing down a sandwich as you drive across town?
  • Why do I drive the opposite way from work to get coffee every morning, when I have perfectly good coffee at home?
  • Why is it that we all make the same amount of money for doing VERY different work? What other profession does this?
  • Why is our ‘contractual day’ NOWHERE near what we actually work? But we actually continue to work beyond it? Wait, I know the answer… but when do we ask for a change?

There are more. I can’t think of them all, but what are your whys? What do you wish you could change?

16 thoughts on “SOL 19: Change or no change… that is the question.”

  1. I agree totally, especially silent lunch; what’s that about. Most important, to me, is lack of time for true collaboration. Team meetings are not enough. There is an unfortunate idea that any time a teacher is not in front of the class, s/he is not working!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thought provoking post! I wonder many of these things. I haven’t come across the silent lunch, yet. When will the pendulum swing back is my big question.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve been at this long enough to have asked many similar questions. We have gotten better in the technology department, but the curriculum has gotten too packed and the hours too long. We’ve done away with half-day PDs, too, thank goodness!

    Like

  4. These are all great questions and many of them I ask myself. The teacher conferences one…oh man! Our district is changing it for next year so we have 2 day conferences on Monday and Tuesday prior to the week of Thanksgiving. This gave us a whole week off for Thanksgiving break. Small change, but it makes a HUGE difference!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We just requested to change ours to the two days before Thanksgiving. You are SO lucky to have a full week. I think that’s a HUGE change… and it will lead to happier teachers!!

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  5. “Why do we allow kids to miss Science and Social Studies for band/orchestra lessons, but not math and reading? What message does that send?”

    Exactly — and as you noted, we’re on the same page/same topic today.

    I taught a Social Studies methods course for graduate students for several years up until recently. When I assigned them a paper based on an observation of a Social Studies class, every semester a handful COULD NOT EVEN FIND a class to observe! IN some elementary schools, Social Studies had been completely dismissed.

    Do we want a civically ignorant electorate? We only need to look at the status of our nation today to see the ramifications.

    Thanks for writing. I enjoyed and connected to your post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I couldn’t agree more. It’s almost treated like an afterthought. I teach one section of ELA and three sections of Social Studies and 6th grade is the first year that Social Studies is a stand alone subject. I feel like my climb is uphill many days to have them see the importance of the work. They are highly engaged in the content so that helps A LOT!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Great questions. I remember *my* school using a stoplight when I was in elementary school – whoa. We hated it. And I, too, wonder a lot about why we don’t allow teachers the time necessary to work together and develop outstanding lessons. Thought provoking questions.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. It’s nice to hear that someone who has been in the game for a while feels this way towards some things too!! Your second bullet made me laugh out loud! (Thanks, I needed that!)
    I want to know why our degrees are not enough? (A bachlor and master of science weren’t enough, I’ve taken 11 praxis exams…)
    Why are teacher’s salaries still laughable?
    Why do we ambush kindergarteners their first year of school and expect them to act like third graders?
    Why do some upper elementary/middle school/high school teachers look down on early childhood educators like we aren’t real teachers?
    Why do people think I’m an interpreter when I tell them I know sign language?
    Why do people ask me if I know brail when I tell them I’m a Deaf Educator? (this one cracks me up every time!!)
    Why is my planning time sacrificed for mandatory meetings, trainings and parent meetings?
    On that note why don’t we give teachers adequate planning time?
    This definitely has me thinking!!
    Thank you for sharing this!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You add some good ones!
      Planning time is one that kills me. We get a total of one hour per day… BUT everything comes out of that time… and to think one hour is going to get all your work done. NOPE!
      And those poor kindergartners…
      I like the idea that you can read braille because you’re a deaf educator!! HAHAHAHA

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha right?! One hour to plan/breathe/decompress oh and go to this and that. Blah it’s a mess! Hahahaha yes the Braille gets me EVERY time. I feel like I should just start saying yes. Everyone already thinks I’m an interpreter because I know sign language (totally not an interpreter) so why not Braille too! Haha

        Liked by 1 person

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