Why aren’t most educators motivated to learn?

There’s a lot of talk right now about how students are naturally curious and want to learn about their world, but the performance-focused atmosphere of school squelches that desire. The concept that child-centered ed reformers are pushing is this: if we give kids more freedom to learn what they want to learn the way they want to learn it, they will eventually master the skills they need to and be successful in school and in life.

I’ve never fully bought into that idea, as much as I like it on a theoretical level. And the more I analyze the behavior of educators, the more I’m convinced it’s not completely true.

Because most educators don’t learn just for the sake of learning. We are just as disengaged and apathetic as the kids are.

Anyone know an educator who went into this field for the money? Of course not. We’re all working in schools because deep down inside somewhere, there’s a desire to make a difference in the lives of kids. There’s some aspect of this field that we are inherently passionate about and are emotionally invested in.

So why are so few educators on Twitter or using social media to expand their repertoire of best practices?

Why don’t they attend conferences regularly, including ones that are totally online and completely free?

Why don’t they read the latest books about educational research and discuss them with others?

Why are so few educators engaged in self-directed professional development in their free time?

Most teachers, coaches, principals, and other school workers that I know in “real life” don’t read professional books or engage in conversations with other educators online. For them, work stays at work whenever possible, and there’s zero crossover to their personal lives if they can help it. They hate the professional development they’re forced to attend but don’t seek out answers to their problems on their own. Some may do a Google search for lesson materials on occasion, but they’re not looking to explore the latest educational trends or find ways to transform the way their students learn with 21st century teaching methods. They just want a printable worksheet to go with tomorrow’s activity.

Education is one of my my primary hobbies and I genuinely enjoy the time I spend reading, writing, and conversing about it. I’ve always been a “teacher nerd” who loved to devour Fountas and Pinnell in my free time and comb the web for new ideas. I realize that not everyone has that personality type, and some people would rather pursue other interests and hobbies in their limited spare time. But if we’re all supposedly curious at heart–and all interested in the field of education on some level–why don’t we all invest in our own professional learning? Where is the natural curiosity and desire to grow?

If we as educators don’t exhibit a desire to learn and improve, how can we expect that of our students?

This post is the closest I’ve ever come to teacher-bashing, and that’s SO not my intention here. Obviously, I’m not talking about YOU–the very fact that you’re reading this proves I’m preaching to the choir, because the 85% of teachers I’m referring to wouldn’t visit my blog, anyway. I’m just feeling a little disheartened and disillusioned with the fact that so many great ideas in education–ideas that could change the world for our students–are just floating around in an echo chamber. What’s the solution? Or more precisely…what’s the problem?

 

The following two tabs change content below.
Angela Watson was a classroom teacher for 11 years and has turned her passion for helping other teachers into a career as an educational consultant based in Brooklyn, NY. As founder of Due Season Press and Educational Services, she has published 3 books, launched a blog and webinar series, designs curriculum resources, and conducts seminars in schools around the world. Subscribe via email for blog updates, exclusive tips & tricks, activities, printables, and more.

{ 38 comments… read them below or add one }

1 ms_teacher November 15, 2011 at 7:53 pm

I think a huge problem is the work load for many teachers during the school year. Teachers are asked to do so much more beyond what is contractually required ( for those who work under a contract) that anything having to do with their professional development is put on the back burner.

Reply

2 Angela Watson November 15, 2011 at 10:52 pm

Hi, Ms_Teacher! Good to see you here! Yes, I agree workload is a big part of the problem. I think people in general, not just educators, are wayyyy too busy these days. There are so many things pulling at us from all directions.

I guess my thought on it is this…we make time for the things we truly value. We steal a few moments whenever we can for the things we enjoy. Why isn’t learning and growing as an educator one of those things? Why isn’t it something so enjoyable that we carve out time for it whenever we can?

This also brings me back to the issue of our students. How can we assign kids 5 worksheets a night for homework to improve their skills when we wouldn’t dream of spending 5 minutes reading a blog post that would improve ours? Kids are busy, too. They don’t want to think about school when they’re not there, either.

So many thoughts…thanks for chiming in and giving me more to think about….:-)

Reply

3 Jill November 15, 2011 at 8:04 pm

This is something that frustrates me also. I often hear my teacher peers complain that they’re having trouble with something, and when I suggest a book I know could help, they wave it off like it’s so difficult to page through to find a solution to the problem! I’m not saying I have all the time in the world (as a first-year teacher I’m trying to stay afloat!), but I spend a lot of my free time paging through professional development books trying to make myself a better teacher at every possible opportunity.

Reply

4 Angela Watson November 15, 2011 at 10:58 pm

Jill, I commend you for doing what you’re doing as a first year teacher! Awesome!

A lot of people now are talking about work/life balance and separating work from personal time. I have found that the opposite works for me. I am rarely truly working and rarely truly relaxing in the sense that my brain is “off-duty.” I am ALWAYS thinking and reflecting about all different aspects of my life. I enjoy my “work” and don’t view it as an encroachment on my personal life.

I’m not talking about things like grading papers or filling out forms–I’m talking about self-directed stuff, projects I take on and ideas I explore because I enjoy them. I’m not counting the seconds until I can finish this comment and get away from my blog. This is fun for me! And I want to see other educators experience that same sense of purpose and enjoyment from growing in their practices. I want learning to be something that they look forward to doing. Ditto with our students…

Reply

5 Tom November 15, 2011 at 8:36 pm

I am going to have to agree with Ms. Teacher and Jill. I also feel that many administrators do NOT want their teachers engaging in authentic learning, but rather would like to see their teachers spending time on district PD or activities. The teacher that I partner up with and I started a “Book Club” with some parents at our school (We read and discussed “The Game of School”) and we were told to stop because parents were starting to ask questions about policies and procedures. I tried to get our administrator to read “Read-i-cide” and I was told, “I don’t even want to know about it.”
I still read tons, follow blogs, twitter, facebook – but, I keep what I learn within my classroom.

Reply

6 Angela Watson November 15, 2011 at 11:04 pm

Tom, you’ve made a great point about teachers keeping their learning to themselves. I wrote a post about that awhile back called “Collaboration, Feedback, and the Fear of Scrutiny”: http://thecornerstoneforteachers.com/2010/04/collaboration-feedback-and-fear-of.html.

I’m a bit horrified at your principal’s reaction to Readicide (which I think is one of the most powerful and relevant books in our field right now) and can totally relate to wanting to keep innovative practices under wrap. Many times it is not advantageous for teachers to share their ideas or try to promote change.

I think teachers in your situation have all the more reason to do exactly what you’re doing–develop a personal learning network outside of school. The internet is sometimes the only place where teachers are encouraged to share new ideas. It’s wonderful that you’re seeking those opportunities on your own. I’m glad to be a part of that. :-) Thank you for sharing.

Reply

7 luckeyfrog November 15, 2011 at 8:41 pm

I agree that the workload has a LOT to do with it. I think for many teachers, personal professional development takes time away from their current workload, and most new ideas add even more to that workload. Especially because so many teachers have a family to go home to at night (or they’re a new teacher with even MORE work to do), it’s just one more thing to put on the plate. I mean, I love reading and learning more, and sometimes I still have a hard time fitting it in.

I also think that some of the issue is the technology. Not all of the teachers are comfortable with twitter, so it makes sense that they’re not immediately going to go in that direction. Plus, if you’ve never done it, it might be hard to imagine what a great tool blogs and twitter and other online resources can be.

I think the biggest problem is the same thing we see in students all the time. If students get boring, irrelevant reading lessons day after day, they will grow to see reading as boring and useless for them. The same thing happens to teachers. So often, professional development is presented as something we HAVE to do, and when we go, it’s boring and irrelevant. I think it conditions a lot of teachers to avoid professional development because it’s rarely done well or engages teachers in a way that does anything but tell the teacher what to do and give the teacher more work. At our school, a few teachers are balking at the way we’re being asked to implement literacy work stations- because they have NEVER done things this way and it’s daunting to start something so completely new! Change is scary, and it takes a LOT of work!

I’m not trying to make excuses, but I do think it’s a more complicated issue than just a lack of motivation for all teachers. There ARE those frustrating teachers who just don’t seem to want to try new things, ever- but all in all, I see more teachers that feel stretched too thin and professional development (as they’ve come to think of it) just isn’t a priority.

Reply

8 Angela Watson November 15, 2011 at 11:15 pm

Wow, Luckeyfrog, you have given me soooo much to reflect on tonight!

“I think for many teachers, personal professional development takes time away from their current workload, and most new ideas add even more to that workload.” Yes, educators avoid learning about new ideas because those ideas are likely to create extra work for them. What an important point to make! Finding out that there is something else you “should” be doing can be depressing and guilt trip-inducing.

“I also think that some of the issue is the technology.” Most of the self-directed PD opportunities are based on web tools, good point. Even 13 years ago when I was a new teacher, the internet was the basis of my learning (chat boards mostly.) Educators who aren’t comfortable with tech are left with reading books (which are hard to find out about if you’re not connected to people online) and discussing them (which means you have to find interested parties in your own community, which is hard.) Big barrier to learning and an important cause of what appears to be lack of motivation to learn.

“If students get boring, irrelevant reading lessons day after day, they will grow to see reading as boring and useless for them. ” This might be the most important point yet, and something I never considered. Teachers assume that even self-directed PD will suck because their college courses and mandated PD sucked! LOL! Once you’ve had some bad experiences with something, it can be hard to believe that a good experience is possible and your enthusiasm for it is dampened. Seems like we need to change teacher’s perception of PD…

“I see more teachers that feel stretched too thin and professional development (as they’ve come to think of it) just isn’t a priority.” This needs to be addressed at a systemic level. PD has to be made a priority so that a culture of innovation is created in the school. We’ve got to get administrators on board with this. Unfortunately, they’re often more resistant than the people they’re in charge of leading.

Thanks for your detailed comment. THIS is why I love blogging…it’s wonderful to hear the different ideas and perspectives that I never could have come up with on my own!

Reply

9 Vanna November 15, 2011 at 10:53 pm

I feel this way exactly!!! I am just naturally curious about what ideas are out there. I am a total “teacher nerd.” I always wanted to be a teacher so I love to read professional books and blogs during my “free” time. I just wish other teachers were as passionate about seeing what other ideas are out there.

Reply

10 Angela Watson November 15, 2011 at 11:20 pm

Hi, Vanna! It’s good to hear from fellow nerds. :-) That makes me think…the traditional “nerd” type doesn’t typically try to convert “non-nerds” to his/her way of thinking, but instead forms close relationships with other “nerds” who share the same interests.

I guess that’s what we’re doing online. In some ways it’s good to step back and be grateful that there is a way to connect to others that are passionate about the same things that we are. It’s unrealistic to expect everyone to care about the same things we do at the same level. Even if we are all in the same field and theoretically have a love for education in common, that doesn’t mean we’re all going to dive into that interest with the same intensity.

Reply

11 Jane Taubenfeld Cohen November 16, 2011 at 6:36 am

In many years of teaching and leading schools, I have found that if the school has a culture of professional growth and teachers are given opportunities to grow within the school (so that they do not have to look for what is available and so that they can collaborate with their peers), they are enthusiastic and excited. That means staff meetings are not business meetings but learning meetings . Staff days exist for true learning and are differentiated. Coaches exist to help a teacher work toward individual goals. None of it is easy but it can happen.

Reply

12 Angela Watson November 16, 2011 at 9:13 am

Hi, Jane! Thanks for drawing attention to the importance of having a culture of innovation. I love the idea of learning meetings instead of business meetings. I work as an instructional coach and agree that it’s a powerful way to help create change in a school by coming alongside teachers and supporting them instead of just throwing random PD at them.

Reply

13 Seriously? November 16, 2011 at 6:57 am

…because they’re trying to run a classroom, raise a family and have some semblance of a social life…

…while others are publishing books.

Reply

14 Angela Watson November 16, 2011 at 9:31 am

Ooh, push back, I love it! But I wrote “The Cornerstone” when I was a full time classroom teacher and “Awakened” as an instructional coach so that comment doesn’t really apply to me. :-)

I think your indignation at this post points back to my original point…the level of engagement, enthusiasm, and self-directed learning we’re wanting to see from our students may not be a realistic expectation in our busy world. Our kids are trying to have a life, too (I consider play an important part of a child’s life.) Should we expect THEM to spend their free time completing homework when WE don’t want to think about school after 3:00, either? And if they are given control over their learning and allowed to follow their natural curiosities, will most of them respond the way that most teachers do–which is, nah, I don’t have the time and energy for that? What implications does educator disengagement have for student disengagement?

I don’t know the answers to these questions. That’s why I’m blogging about them. ;-)

Reply

15 Lynette S. November 17, 2011 at 12:30 am

Hi Angela,
I love your use of wisdom ;-)

Just wanted to chime in for a sec. I totally agree with the unrealistic expectations that we place on students. Although I’m quite a teacher nerd myself and fill my leisure time with reading up on best practices to grow me as an educator, I detest having to do anything required by the district/school that I perceive as mundane busy work that’s only going to be in effect for two years!

Honestly, when I get home I’m exhausted and don’t want to look at anything that is “required” work. I prefer to work on my own lifelong learning goals as an educator. For this reason I have cut the amount of homework I give this year. My students are tired also. They’ve been in school all day just like me. They go to after-school programs, sports practices, and other events. Some are even taking care of younger siblings and managing households until their parents get home. They deserve to have a life. Their doing homework does not help me to assess their understanding of a topic. I do that through formative assessments within the classroom.

I don’t have answers to the questions either. However, I can say that many students don’t have enough exposure or experience with anything in life to even have natural curiosity! It is my job to reveal these “jewels” to them and open up their curiosity. They should then be allowed the opportunity to explore them further.

Reply

16 Angela Watson November 17, 2011 at 5:30 pm

Hi, Lynette! Thanks for chiming in. I love this statement that you made: “However, I can say that many students don’t have enough exposure or experience with anything in life to even have natural curiosity! It is my job to reveal these “jewels” to them and open up their curiosity.”

This is a really important point and has major implications for student disengagement. Just as many teachers have never had any positive experiences with PD, many students have never had any positive experiences with learning! In many ways, the system of school has cut off kids’ natural curiosity (and often a lack of stimulation at home contributes to this, too.)

If one of our main goals as teachers is to “reveal these ‘jewels’ to them and open up their curiosity,” then maybe that should be our same goal in terms of opening up teachers to their own potential to enjoy and learn from self-directed PD. Not to say that every teacher needs to take on the responsibility of being a social media evangelist, but we can certainly share the great stuff we learn with others and let them see how much being connected energizes us and improves our practice.

Reply

17 Amy Gillespie November 16, 2011 at 11:14 am

Very thought provoking post. I am in my late 30′s and I am switching careers – almost done with my masters in elementary ed and will be student teaching in January. Like everyone, I also have a very busy life (four kiddos, masters program, etc). Because I am not in the classroom full time, I can only offer a point of view from someone about to step in (and I can hardly wait!). I am becoming a teacher because I cannot imagine doing anything else. My classes have been boring. I have read extra books on my own because it was completely necessary to fill the void of boring grad classes -this brings me back to someone’s point regarding teacher college classes needing to be more relevant and exciting. :) For example: imagine a class using “The Cornerstone” instead of the latest textbook on Classroom Management (yawn). Hmmmmm… Anyhow, I am eating up books like yours (love it!), Debbie Miller’s pure gold books, The Sister’s awesome books, Wong, Love and Logic, Debbie Diller and scores of others. I read blogs, transfer fabulous ideas onto my Pinterest board, and have scored dozens and dozens of Mailbox magazines which I have subsequently ripped up and placed into files. Why? Because I want to learn everything I can about teaching.
If teachers do not regularly attend extra conferences, I personally don’t think they are not continuing their education. Teachers learn great gobs from talking with other teachers on a daily basis. Frankly, in my humble opinion, the best ideas come from teachers themselves, NOT “experts”. Where have I, an elementary grad student, learned the most so far? Teachers, teacher books, and teacher blogs. None of those people are “experts” in the field. None of them were on the speaker list for the latest online teacher conference. Not that one cannot learn wonderful things from experts, but let’s not forget the “experts in the trenches” on a daily basis who truly deal with all life throw at them…
The teachers I have observed and come to know as friends do not blog, nor do they even have a Pinterest account. They have all been teaching forever and do a great job. I have mentioned things like “The Daily 5″ to them, and they have never heard of it. I think they are completely missing out (like not having frosting on your cupcake), but they are still getting the job done wonderfully.
When I am teaching, I will be super busy and will have less time for the blogging/Pinterest world. However, I will always seek them out, even if it is less and less, because I am hooked. I want to know as much as humanly possible because I want to be the best teacher I can be. Don’t think I would be as crazy to go to a teacher conference if I didn’t think the content was relevant to me. That’s the key. Why would I care about X if my classroom isn’t affected and my energy requires me to stay focused there?

Reply

18 Angela Watson November 16, 2011 at 3:00 pm

Hi, Anne! Thanks for taking the time to add so much to this discussion. That was me who mentioned that college courses are often boring and set the precedent for teachers that future PD will be boring…but there are an ever-growing list of universities that ARE using “The Cornerstone” in their classroom management courses! I would love to see more college training based on the experiences of teachers. Most of the authors you mentioned are still in the classroom and writing books about what they do everyday. Exciting stuff!

Regarding conferences…I never attended one until I left the classroom (after 11 years.) I didn’t understand the point or see them as important. Now I am absolutely hooked! They are an incredible place to meet like-minded people and learn about new ideas. Conferences are NOT an essential part of growing as a teacher, and informal learning was always a bigger part of my learning. But I really encourage you, personally, to attend one, because it seems like you’ve got the personality that would really enjoy them!

You’re bringing up a point that I didn’t touch…are teachers who don’t make time to learn and grow ineffective? There are many people who would argue yes, they are ineffective (I’ve heard the old doctor analogy many times: Would you want a surgeon operating on you if s/he is still practicing medicine the exact same way it was done 15 years ago? Would you want a doctor who hasn’t read any medical journals since the early 90′s?) Some people have even charged that teachers who refuse to grow and integrate technology are criminally liable. Ouch!

I’m not making the leap to that conclusion. I will say this: There are some excellent teachers I know in “real life” who do not engage in self-directed PD. However, they DO have one or two other excellent teachers in their schools who they regularly plan with. They bounce ideas off of one another constantly, even if it’s just for a few minutes at lunch. In that sense, they ARE growing from their personal learning network, even if it’s a small local network. I wonder: are there highly effective teachers who do not have ANY sort of face-to-face or online personal learning network?

Reply

19 Seriously? November 17, 2011 at 3:18 pm

“I don’t know the answers to these questions. That’s why I’m blogging about them. ”

This ‘wise’ statement of self-proclaimed ignorance and faux humility doesn’t exactly match the accusatory tone of an unfounded blog headline.

Clearly you enjoyed your time in the classroom. Spending time writing books, just to get out as many hit their stride. I’m sure your students benefitted from that degree of personalized commitment.

Good luck. Hope you sell scads.

Reply

20 Angela Watson November 17, 2011 at 5:17 pm

Thanks for the kind words and positive vibes! They’re really appreciated, because most people aren’t that nice to me when I write this kind of arrogant drivel. I think I lost a lot of fans when I wrote a post called “Why am I so much more awesome than every other educator because I’ve published two books?” And after I wrote “How will I ever find my intellectual equal once I publish my third book?”, I had pretty much cut off my fan base.

It’s good to know that someone recognizes just how lucky my students were to have had me for those 11 years before I abandoned them to fly around the country in my private jet paid for with my gigantic publishing royalties. Most people just don’t recognize genius when they see it.

Fortunately, when people get mad about my posts, I can rely on my secret super powers: self-deprecation, satire, and sarcasm.

Oh, and alliteration.

Reply

21 Seriously? November 17, 2011 at 5:32 pm

…and avoiding the issue.

I’ll post it again just so we can all focus on it. Rather than avoid it with sub-par passive-aggressive comedy…

“I don’t know the answers to these questions. That’s why I’m blogging about them. ”

This ‘wise’ statement of self-proclaimed ignorance and faux humility doesn’t exactly match the accusatory tone of an unfounded blog headline.

Reply

22 Angela Watson November 17, 2011 at 5:36 pm

But does it match the tone of the article and my comments? Or are you choosing to read something into the blog post title that isn’t there?

Reply

23 Seriously? November 17, 2011 at 5:41 pm

“Because most educators don’t learn just for the sake of learning. We are just as disengaged and apathetic as the kids are.”

You’re right. How dare I read into things that aren’t there.

Nice touch including yourself there: “We”. Nice touch, indeed.

Reply

24 Angela Watson November 17, 2011 at 5:47 pm

You may disagree with my tone (even though I was clear my intent was not to offend, and I obviously don’t take myself too seriously.) But are you actually disagreeing with the content of my post–the statement that most educators don’t learn just for the sake of learning? Would you say that most educators DO learn for the sake of learning? Are most (that is, more than 50% of) teachers attending conferences, reading self-selected professional books, and/or using blogs and social media to learn about best practices simply because they enjoy learning?

Reply

25 Seriously? November 17, 2011 at 5:48 pm

“Obviously, I’m not talking about YOU–the very fact that you’re reading this proves I’m preaching to the choir, because the 85% of teachers I’m referring to wouldn’t visit my blog, anyway.”

So is that it then? If people read your blog, they’re covered? A lot of people watch TMZ and read the Enquirer too. I guess that defines them. We’re getting a little MacLuhan here, aren’t we?

By the way, I showed this post to my students. They think you’re ‘a piece of work’ . That’s a quote. They’re 13…

Reply

26 Angela Watson November 17, 2011 at 5:50 pm

If they’re reading my blog, then they’re not one of those teachers who don’t read education blogs, right?

I’d love to hear what your students had to say about the topic of teacher disengagement and student disengagement. Sounds like a great discussion.

Reply

27 Seriously? November 17, 2011 at 6:04 pm

I don’t read education blogs in a regular basis. I’m reading your post because you made an inflammatory statement meant to attract readers. Mission accomplished.

I also read graffiti in bathroom stalls too. Doesn’t make it Shakespeare.

You want to know why most educators aren’t motivated to learn? Because while we’re in the trenches with students, we have talking heads who say they’re on our side lobbing grenades at us. Here’s a question: Why did YOU leave the classroom? Better yet, if you felt that you served people better THIS way, why did you even start teaching in the first place? Why not just start writing?

And lastly, some teachers (see how I used ‘some?) don’t ‘learn’ the way you think they should- instead they learn about their students. They learn how to interact with them, what they need or want. They learn what makes them tick. They learn what troubles them.

I’d take that ‘learning’ over a free online course any day.

But that’s just me.

Reply

28 Angela Watson November 17, 2011 at 6:12 pm

THIS comment is the reason why I’ve continued to banter back and forth with you. It was obvious that you had something deeply important to say and I’m glad you eventually moved past the parts of my post you didn’t like and expressed your opinion on the topic at hand. What you just wrote was powerful. Thank you for sharing that.

Reply

29 Seriously? November 17, 2011 at 7:43 pm

Yes, I’m sure. Your plan coming to fruition, is it?

The reasoning for your banter is your own, but please don’t try to pass it off as drawing out issues. It’s bearbaiting at best. Otherwise your post wouldnt have had the level of condescension it did.

And to use ‘open discussion’ to draw out opinions is patronizing at best. I didnt write it to have it be recognized as ‘powerful’. My point is to fight the ‘those who can’t, teach’ – attitude of your post. And thats what it is, let’s not mince words.

Those who can’t, teach. Ha!
Those who can’t teach preach about it like they can.

Good luck to you. And, if possible, try to ease up on the patronizing font in your reply. We’re all a little above that, here in the trenches.

Reply

30 Tom November 17, 2011 at 8:34 pm

Is it wrong that I am finding this banter battle so intriguing?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=63Hj7FybQJs&feature=related

Reply

31 Angela Watson November 17, 2011 at 8:39 pm

Tom, that was awesome.

Reply

32 Lynette S. November 17, 2011 at 9:22 pm

Wow :-/ + LOL!

Reply

33 Seriously? November 17, 2011 at 9:49 pm

Oh my. We’re siting clips of Scrubs as “awesome”.

There’s my litmus test.

I feel a little sad now. Like “post baby candy removal”- sad.

I take back everything I said. You’re all swell. I’m signing up for a course right now.

Sniff.

Good day, and good night.

Reply

34 Referee November 23, 2011 at 9:13 am

God gave us ALL 24 hours in a day to do with it what we please. I have chosen to devote my life to education. We are in the field that creates all other fields. Sleep deprivation and the over consumption of caffeine is just a small price to pay (smiles). “Seriously”, keep working hard in the trenches. Angela, keep writing. We all are working for the same “end game”, every student working at his or her highest potential. None of this is personal….is it?

Reply

35 Seriously? November 23, 2011 at 9:57 am

I agree.

Referee, all that hard work you’re doing is great, but I don’t think it’s enough. You COULD do better. It’s so simple, but you don’t take advantage of opportunities to improve what you’re doing.

With tongue firmly planted in cheek, it’s tough NOT to take that personally isn’t it?

Reply

36 loventeachn December 22, 2011 at 12:56 pm

Wow… Angela keep writing because you love to. Regardless of people who disagree with your posts, you are providing a topic and place for educators to come, reflect, and learn something.

I must say, the beginning of your post was a bit depressing. But, without it your point could not have been made. Ending your post by encouraging educators to innovate their teaching so that the impact on student learning is greater than a quantifiable figure was inspiring!!

Educators…Go out and continue making a difference! :)

Reply

37 Seriously? December 22, 2011 at 1:29 pm

“Regardless of people who disagree with your posts, you are providing a topic and place for educators to come, reflect, and learn something.”

I think ‘regardless’ is the wrong word. A place for educators to come, reflect, and learn INCLUDES people who disagree. Otherwise, it’s just a billboard.

Reply

38 MeghanK December 28, 2011 at 12:17 pm

I think the reason is because most books targeted at teachers are badly written and have clearly been rushed through to make money off of school districts paying for them and forcing teachers to read them. Teachers get disillusioned with this process, which is clearly meant to take their money and do nothing for them.

Your book, The Cornerstone, which I just bought, is an exception, of course :). I found it by accident, reading an old Teach for America teacher’s blog. That’s the only way I could have found it, though, because you can’t trust people’s reviews of teacher books. Many of them are clearly paid reviews.

Case in point: http://www.amazon.com/Driven-Data-Practical-Improve-Instruction/dp/0470548746

The blurb includes this sentence: “Bambrick-Santoyo offers vital tips, such as: how to create a data culture, how to run a successful data analysis meeting, how to write quality assessments, and how to deal with resistance from your teachers. ”

So much PD is being written against teachers and not for them.

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: