Monday, April 20, 2009

Teachers Can't Coast

All through our lives, we are at various stages of interest and commitment to our work and personal lives. When you teach, you must be on target, and there is no room for coasting. This is this issue discussed here in our PLN.

I like the idea that Sharon Elin shared that possibly the "coasting" teacher may need some assistance to get back on track. Sometimes, personal or family illness can put a strain on a teacher's ability to respond in a robust manner to their students.

As I always say, let's check out the antecedents, before we throw the baby out with the bath water. If assistance doesn't help, the "gold-bricking" teachers may need to work somewhere else where they may have better results with this behavior.
clipped from

What do we do with goldbrickers and dead wood?

Education is a noble and honorable enterprise — well-meaning, respectable, geared toward progress and success. For all its lofty intentions, though, we have a few glaring problems in education here in America. One of the most pernicious is the dark truth that the profession currently includes too many ineffective, lame, or even neglectful and abusive teachers. They make us all look bad, and, frankly, I’m ready to either clean house and get rid of them or find more assertive methods to remediate their training until they improve.

This is how Sharon Elin starts her blog posting under the heading: The best mirrors.  The article is worth reading in its entirety.  What amazes me is the similarity between America and South Africa on this matter.

The first step to solve the situation is to recognize, and then acknowledge, that we have a problem.  Sharon helps us to do just that. 

I echo that by saying: “Prune out the dead wood.”

 blog it

1 comment:

Blogger In Middle-earth said...

Kia ora Sheryl!

Thanks for this post.

"Education is a noble and honorable enterprise", with a few glaring problems - and not just in America.

I have voiced my opinion before about 'pruning out the dead wood'. While I agree there is a need to get rid of such material, I'm not so sure that it is so easy. For one thing, we could end up throwing the baby out with the bathwater, never mind the bath as well.

Why do I have this opinion? I believe that 'the dead wood' is not the only problem with our education systems. A lot of the wood that's dead was allowed to deteriorate with little assistance even when it was sought.

If we want a healthy robust forest, we have to care for the saplings and tend to the growing trees lest we end up with more dead wood than living plants. When some dead trees fall in the forest they can take out a few more in the falling to say little of the saplings that are eliminated.

Let's also get the forest floor in order too. A forest does not maintain itself. Good trees need space to develop. If that means culling a few and getting rid of the dead wood so be it, but it has to be a strategy that looks after the healthy, not one that fosters ill health in fine stock.

Cathya later
from Middle-earth