Okay, it's time to talk about attitude again – a common topic on this website!
I need to discuss with you how much to fight against some of the feedback that you will receive during your teacher assessment.
Here's the thing with large organizations, whether they are public schools or private corporations: they all love to roll out new ways of doing things. In large corporations, it's common to go through at least one or two big launches every year of new, theoretically-much-improved processes.
Meetings are held, posters are posted, flurries of emails are sent out. Often, of course, these big launches are based upon the latest-and-greatest trend that is sweeping the industry, usually driven by highly-paid consultants.
Just as often, someone such as a new superintendent is determined to make a name for themselves, even if it means every teacher in the district must jump through hoops to make it happen.
After a few months or a year, it's very common to walk by these posters, still hanging on the walls, and chuckle because they are starting to be covered up by the new new posters for the latest latest-and-greatest thing.
Handling the “latest thing”
Education is no different from businesses. Trends sweep through teaching, education consultants circulate in and out of superintendents’ offices, and up-and-coming administrators in your district headquarters keep trying to make names for themselves. So, some of the feedback you will receive will center around:
- Not having the prescribed charts and posters or other required teaching aids displayed in the correct manner
- Not using the prescribed words or phrases that are supposed to be the key to unlocking the knowledge of the universe
- Generally not “getting with the program” regarding something that your principal has been told is super-important. She may not personally believe that it is, but she’d really rather keep her job and is not willing to risk it over this particular requirement.
I'm being a little bit snarky here because I've been through so many of these cycles that it’s hard not to be!
You are going to have to decide up front that you will go along with these flavor-of-the-month requirements and not get overly concerned about them. Whether you use the posters or not, just put them up if they don’t get in the way of great teaching and learning.
Don't stress out about it; do what you've been asked and understand that if the latest-and-greatest is something unworkable and even silly, it will pass before too long and you can trash the unnecessary wall support or drop the silly teaching method.
But keep an open mind!
Don't be too dismissive of these trendy requirements. The vast majority of them don't stick, but every standardized, accepted, best-practice teaching method that is being used in today’s classrooms started as a new “thing” at some point. Some do stick.
Therefore, you need to give each of them a fair shot and keep an open mind.
The main point here is not to stress about it or fight against it – that approach will make your observations even harder on you. Go along and see what happens… all the while taking it with a giant grain of salt.