Today: A Revelation

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15 thoughts on “Today: A Revelation”

  1. I’m going to try to read these when I have enough time, but the titles say enough. In a meeting with one of my admins on Monday, where we discussed where I’m at with one difficult class, I told her that I got back into teaching to teach, not just content, but to help form young people, NOT to police kids or be a taskmaster or to be mocked/disrespected almost on a daily basis. My school’s also pretty loose on some discipline which leads to a loose school culture. This has its pros and its cons, but I think more cons than pros. Maybe that 1 million number will wake some people up. Then again, maybe not. I’d like to try to remain optimistic…

      1. Thanks for the encouragement. For example, today was a better day. I’m taking one day at a time, little by little, and from there, I’ll eventually make a decision. Going into a new career is pretty daunting. I’m not sure what career I’d go into. Everything I’ve known is education and working with young people.

        You’re right about being grateful. Thanks for the reminder. I’m thankful for the ability to provide for my wife and son. What would you go into, Steven, if you don’t mind me asking?

  2. Here’s a quote from

    “According to a Labor Department report (obtained by the Wall Street Journal), teachers quit the profession in 2018 at the highest rate of any year on record. Roughly 1 million public education workers walked away that year, and experts predict those numbers will only get worse. The result is shortages of teachers in multiple states and a dropping number of education majors nationwide.”

  3. We talk a lot about active teachers and strategies here, but what about our teacher prep programs? Mine, to be honest, was not great. I never even learned how to plan out a unit (now using CI, I don’t need to worry about that). I then got a Masters in Ed Leadership. Also, not a great program. Education (at all levels) in general has made so many compromises and, I think, forgotten its identity. I don’t think I’d want to be an admin in this climate.

    1. We in the CI scene have to focus on reaching student teachers. That’s why I have a “student teachers” go free policy at my trainings.

      We need to take down the Traditional Language teaching matrix. Starting with the newcomers is much easier than converting the dinosaurs.

      We also have had a pre-student teacher observing at my school. She ended up telling her university supervisor that if she did student teaching with us it would have to be CI. She also told her supervisor what I told her about “rigor” and also the “multiple intelligences” theory being false.

      The message is being sent to the university, but it’s going to be a slow process.

    2. Jenna Engelbreit

      Teaching is the only major occupation…for which we have not developed tools that make an average person capable of competence and performance. In teaching we rely on the naturals, the ones who somehow know how to teach.

      – Peter Drucker

      The amount of time it takes to get “good” at this is remarkable. If you don’t have “it,” it may take years to get. And even then, some lessons fall flat, the culture changes, the day feels stoic, the air can get heavy. Teaching, is such slow work, you almost have to hate instant gratification.

        1. Thank God for that. We all have our different ideas of divinity, and our culture has devolved to a point where talking about the divine, or whatever one wants to call it, Good Orderly Direction (G.O.D.) or whatever, is in some odd-ass way not PC. But I know that my own permanent optimism was not the optimism of the Tarot fool. It was an optimism grounded in suffering, and for many of us emerges as the story by Voltaire of Candide, the subtitle of which is “Optimism”. It has been a gift to me from something far greater than me. I don’t know exactly what it was or how it worked, but I know that every single minute this powerful and divine and loving force was making sure that I wouldn’t be crushed in those 35,000 classes I taught before He let me off the hook. And now my only prayer – and I say this w absolute and total assurance – is that I may be of complete service to Him as He helps my still-suffering brothers and sisters who are still at it. That is my goal in retirement, and none other.

      1. God bless all the teachers who were lied to in the sense that as long as they were good at grammar then they got lots of props in the form of As from their own mechanical teachers when they were in college deciding on a major. It’s like someone in med school training to be a surgeon, learning certain procedures, and then finding out when they start doing surgery in their 30s that people don’t do that anymore.

      2. Jenna the second paragraph above reveals a lot of deep thought on your part. I salute you. It expresses what teachers rarely say, bc they lack the courage. This profession sucks in many ways, and it’s ok to say it is my message. How are we going to change unless we just come out and admit that schools right now have everything set up against us and it won’t change until we have enough people on our side, the CI side, the one that aligns w the research, to fight. I think of the Normandy beaches as a metaphor, w due respect to the severity of what those hero soldiers did compared to us. However, is it not true that this feels like a war sometimes? And then what’s happened lately is that some of us have turned on others, shooting them in the back, in an effort to gain power, fame and money. It’s so sad.

  4. In the article about teachers leaving the classroom, one teacher, Karin something, said s/he became a plumber. More power to her! Even if I had known when I was young how lucrative being a plumber is, I probably wouldn’t have done it. Now, after 17 years of teaching, I feel like I have experienced life to such an intense degree in these schools that I COULD do a solitary job like that and find meaning in it, without question.

    I do find meaning in teaching now more than ever, after having found CI and Ben Slavic and all the members that have come through this PLC. I feel like I can help people find ways to enjoy their work. But more importantly, I feel like I can help myself enjoy my work and live my life outside of work.

    Thanks for this post and all the comments. You all are helping me come to terms with feeling good, feeling satisfied, with the work that I’m doing, even with its hiccups.

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