1. I find the harder I focus on academics the less we get done. Whereas, the more I focus on my relationship with my students, their previous nights, their fears, their cares, and how they respect one another the academics seem to fall in place. And then we’ve accomplished something real.

  2. Kim D

    It seems that once I make a shift in my thinking the universe follows up with reinforcements in the forms of books and blog posts. I had a grad course in curriculum last fall and we spent some time on curriculum implementation and resistance to change models. I’ve since read The Practice of Adaptive Leadership and how to acknowledge how stakeholders perceive change (and what they are losing) in order to be a facilitator of change. It is a process – for all involved.

  3. This is so important for educational leaders to remember. We usually default to these when we’re overwhelmed or frustrated, but I don’t think any leader can be successful if they truly believe these assumptions. In my view, educators are super-committed to students and they work hard to navigate the truly complex role they play.
    We should support their work, challenge them to continue to be their best and believe in them.

  4. Dear George,
    This is an excellent post that resonates with me so much.
    I especially liked the last couple of sentences – Trusting someone is doing the best they can before they prove it to you, is an important part of leadership. We have to give trust before we earn trust in many cases. Assuming the worst of others will not get us to grow as a profession.

    We need to start with trusting people to be professionals and to do their job as well as they can. If we live by this idea, then everything else will fall into place.

  5. teaching is not unlike combat; every day, there’s a cloud that hangs over, shrouding the view of what ideally should be done. So, teachers do the best they can, and how things turn out better than they otherwise would have.

    It’s not fun to think of educating our youth in such terms, but I think it’s valid.

  6. Ellie Broderick

    As a daughter of an educator and aspiring educator myself, I love this article, and it is very touching!
    Too often, I have heard parents or students gripe about teachers “not caring”, yet I find the exact opposite. I read up on the new ideas coming into the education field, and it proves the exact opposite. Teachers around the world care so much to conduct research on changing the layout of everyday classrooms for better student success, in and out of the classroom. My favorite “new” theory is the near-elimination of homework. Teachers fight to not assign homework to students to complete outside of a class period because it has little to no benefits for the students. They find that it does not aid test scores, and it further divides students that are already torn apart by socioeconomic status. Is it really far to expect kids to do MORE work after already attending school for 7 hours a day?
    That is the exact opposite of teachers not caring, if you were to ask me. Through my research, my favorite question posed is “Are we preparing workers or learners?” Teachers care enough to change the way that they educate students to help them succeed after their schooling is over.
    That is the epitome of an amazing teacher.

  7. Sandra

    Hi George,
    This was a good read. It’s true sometimes teachers get a bad rap. While there may be uncaring teachers out there, by and large most of us are out there doing our very best.

  8. Veronica

    I feel saddened by this post, it’s somewhat discouraging but yet motivating. I feel that the people who know most about the passion us as teachers have are educators themselves. No one understands the hard work and efforts we put into our kids, the passion isn’t seen in our test scores or in our passing rates but it’s seen in the classroom in our heartening talks and challenges that we face with our kids. Change is inevitable but what we must learn to do is adapt. Negative comments are just a drive for me to want to do better and prove to myself and my kids they matter and the changes they can make in this world matter.

  9. Margaret

    I come from a family of teachers. I have seen many of my aunts put so much effort in to their teaching. I have listened to my aunt talk endlessly about all the trainings she has gone to, so she can alter her teaching methods for the better. She wants to think of new ways to improve her teaching to serve her students better. To be a teacher, you have to be willing to work over time, go to a lot of meetings over the weekend, and to do all of this for not a lot of pay. We are in this profession because we want to make a change. Our students are on our minds about 11 months out of the year. Change is something we are always doing.

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