Thursday, November 19, 2015

Everything You Are Doing Is Wrong! and Other Nonsense on the Internet

I've been super busy the past few weeks and I have not had the time to post thoughts on various things. I've been using Twitter and Instagram more to share short bits of things going on in my classroom instead of much longer posts on the blog. There has been something I've seen the past few weeks that really isn't something new and something I'm sure I have been guilty of to some degree and I wanted to share my thoughts on it.

For every educator out there, please know that the way you are doing things is not wrong because someone on the Internet, me included, has said it doesn't work or it is not what is best for students. They are purely opinions. When I write about using more Project Based Learning in the classroom or my love for Makerspaces, it doesn't make anybody a bad teacher for not doing these things. I can't stand standardized exams and think they have little to no value in education. Just because you give them doesn't make you a bad person or teacher. There are plenty of things that I do that some would consider terrible.

I still give grades and I give homework. I do this and do not feel very bad about it at all. I see posts about not doing either and they challenge my thinking. That's a good thing. I respect the heck out of my friends who challenge my thinking without shaming me. Some people want to shame others for doing what they are doing and that is not going to help change a culture and that is not leadership in my opinion. I've come a long way in 5 or 6 years when it comes to my class instruction and assessment. Some people will take longer than others to get wherever they are going, but making them feel bad about their choice of instruction is not going to help. We need to be more supportive of people that are choosing education right now and give them alternatives. There are things we swear by now that might be embarrassing in a few years. None of us were innovative educational giants when we started. Anyone that claims otherwise is not being honest with you or themselves.

It is more about tone and word choice. We all have to be mindful of that. I have to be mindful.

Every situation is different and we need to respect those differences when we claim that our way is the best way and everybody else is wrong. We need to be a more supportive community to all educators out there and continue to share ideas and not just ideology. Ideas can change and evolve over time, ideologies tend to get stuck and cause strife. Let's support new ideas and continue to respectfully challenge old ideas. It starts with us. It starts with me.