Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Response to Kelly Hines: My Hair is not on fire!

Kelly Hines has been reading Teach Like Your Hair is on Fire She expressed her conflicted reaction to the book on her blog. I love to see people's conflict. I think it is one of my favorite things about the blogosphere. It is sort of like 'think aloud' in class. It's great to see that other people are wrestling with ideas and their own changing philosophy. My response on her website was:

I have said this recently. If you were to pick any person in the profession of education you could probably give them the title of Rumplestiltskin. Educators more than almost any other profession spin straw into gold.

Having said that, I totally get your hesitation about this book. I want to read it now that you have so effectively pointed out the inherent conflict with our heroes. We watch teachers who do miraculous things but get disheartened and disillusioned because we can’t do it.

I told a mentor of mine once that I didn’t think you should have to be a hero to teach. He disagreed he said every teacher is a hero. My reply "well then we shouldn't all have to martyr ourselves to be teachers." I still believe that. I see to many do to much for too little. I don’t ask that teacher be on the leading edge of salaries and compensation and support in the world, but could we at least be firmly in the middle?

Thanks for a super thoughtful post!

Her conflict reminds me of my problem with Erin Gruwell and the Freedom Writers. (I wanted

to link to her website but this is what I got:

I had her story inflicted upon me in a training. The facilitator prefaced it with "Oh, we aren't saying you have to do all ...." But the message was still look at how hard she worked and how much she sacrificed to make sure these poor, underprivileged, students succeed. And they have succeeded. But is her story really the best model. She spoke at NECC and I listened to most of it, but from what I gathered she has pretty much built everything she has done since then on the reputation and fame of what she did then. Is this any more amazing than the teacher who for 32 years teaches in the same school consistently and daily and puts in their time? Or what about my fellow teacher who taugh 10 years in one state then moved and taught 30 years in another state and sat through training after training with 'Presenters' hired to come teach her about reading in the content area when that was her Master's Degree? I am much more likely to admire the person who quietly does what's expected. I see no need for more martyrs to the educational cause.

Citation Nod:

I found this great site about grammar rules that helped me figure out what to put in italics.

Comment invitation: I am too lazy to research what else Erin Gruwell has done so if I am totally of base in my unsubstatiated opinion please correct me in the comments.

No comments:

Welcome to Jorgie Learning

I really am learning and this blog is maintained both as a record of some of what I am doing as well as a place for me to train and teach others about creating an online presence. So please don't mind the dust. We aren't remodeling we are learning!

Visit some of my other blogs or the other blogs I find mildly entertaining for a more polished feel.