A colleague asked me today why I blog. I shared with her I feel like I have to. As a public education teacher who firmly believes America needs to provide quality, free, equal education to all citizens, I feel I must stand and speak for the profession. Like the Lorax, I feel if I don’t no one will and public education will disappear.
A few years ago I would have laughed if you told me public education was under attack. But, through my doctoral program, the global network of teacher I read through social networking, and via the constant stream of 24/7 news, I am confident some are out to ruin public education. Most of these challenges come from honest reform efforts that are misguided. I let some of those critiques slide because at least their motivation is noble, however misguided. However, other critics simply want to dismantle public education. They do not see it as important to the American republic. Perhaps this is because American education is broken or because public funding for education does not fit with their political view.
No matter how I try to rationalize what is happening, the end is the same. Public education is under attack. Like all other subjects, the news media loves to report what is wrong with education.
I write because I need to stand up for what is right in education. I am called to defend my profession. I write so others can critique my reform efforts, so I can perfect my practices and sprint toward the reform our public schools need. I actually write because I feel if I don’t, I won’t be a teacher in 20 years. Rather, I will be an administer of state assessments and standardized curriculum. Standardized ANYTHING isn’t education. Education happens when individuals have an invested interest in a topic, preferably of their choosing. Students learn when engaged in a problem that needs solved. I feel if I do not stand up for my job, it will disappear.
Education reformers need to stand together, connect socially, perfect best practices, and RESIST POOR TEACHING PRACTICES. From your colleagues, from administration, from school boards. Ill-conceived, poorly researched, and untested teaching practices will have no effect on education but to worsen an already weak system.
As educational reformers, caring teachers, parents, neighbors, and voters in a democratic republic, we need to stand together to keep a public education system in America. Such a system needs a violent, quick change to remain relevant. Together we need to make these changes. I blog because I have a voice and together we need to be heard.