Skip to main content

Focusing Forward

Shortly after noon, my phone was abuzz with texts asking if I'd heard that DeVos' nomination had gone through. I wasn't able to stream it at that point, but I had assumed her nomination would move forward. I'll also admit that I was hoping McCain would be willing to go "rogue" or "maverick-y" like he once prided himself on.

I will leave this image of McCain and Clinton here and not even comment.


So, in the mean time, what should teachers do? Well, we shouldn't get upset that our calls, our letters, our rallying "didn't work." In fact, it did. It proved we are a formidable force. 

This is the first time in history that a vice president has had to be the deciding vote for a cabinet nominee. This, to quote Vice President Biden during the passing of the Affordable Care Act, is a BFD. 


We must continue to be vocal. We must continue to tell our stories about public education. We must continue to speak out against injustice and the potential threat that Secretary DeVos will pose to public education. We must continue to raise our voices. No one knows our students' needs better than we do. And I can tell you one thing they don't need: some pseudo-science like Neurocore that promises to wipe out your ADD/ADHD. They need teachers that are advocates for them, for their local schools, and for public education. 

You might start by subscribing to the Michigan legislature's listserv. I get daily emails that show me legislative action regarding education. That's how I discovered Colbeck's sneaky "education savings account" (what a euphemism!) plan. Do that by registering at this site

The next thing you could do is start having real and honest conversations with people--and I'm talking about people that aren't already in your close circle of friends. Sometimes teachers surround themselves with teachers (most of my friends). We need to start reaching out to others even more so and bringing them into the conversation so they are truly informed. 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Handwritten Cue Cards in the 21st Century

I just stumbled upon this behind-the-scenes clip of Saturday Night Live's cue card process. This is intense writing. This is writing that is dependent upon trust and checks and balances. Over a short period of time, skits are written, drafted on cards, revised, and the cards revised over and over again. I also really love that SNL continues to use cue cards and not a teleprompter. Like Wally points out, technology can fail. Handwritten cue cards ensure the show goes on. Comedy is hard work. Writing is hard work. Changes are made up until the last minute to get things just right. This is a form of real-world writing.

What's your "gap plan"?

Brene Brown introduces the "family gap plan" in the fourth episode of her podcast, Unlocking Us . This came about when she and her husband would argue when she would return home from traveling. It seemed like the minute she walked in, her husband would expect her to be ready for him to "tap out," where she could take over where he had been supporting the family. While she was away from home, this didn't mean that she was full of energy and at 100% the minute she walked in the door. She had been working too and was exhausted. So, over time they began to name where they were at as people and as a family: I'm at 10%. I'm at 30%. They knew they needed a plan for when collectively she and her husband were not at 100%, but they needed to be for their family. Beyond our personal lives, the idea of a "gap plan" got me thinking about our classrooms and schools. What happens when we are not at 100% or we know that our classrooms or students are not

Like in comedy, timing is everything

I regularly listen to the School Leadership Series and today's episode, " Slump or Spark? ", made me think about initiatives, goals, and how we often get stuck in the middle. Danny encourages us to think about the middle, the "often overlooked time." He encourages us to think about midpoints, the lull, and how we can transform them into sparks instead of slumps. He encourages us to be aware of them, use them to "wake up," and to imagine that we are behind rather than ahead in order to motivate us out of "coast" mode. He also mentions Dan Pink's When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing  in the episode. In this book, Pink gives advice for the varied levels of commitment during the middle: "... when team commitment to achieving a goal is high, it's best to emphasize the work that remains. But when team commitment is low, it's wiser to emphasize the progress that has already been made even if it is not massive" (p.