Some would accuse me of believing the world around me is made up of puppy dogs and unicorns; I don’t totally disagree with them (puppy bowl much?). I just feel that if people involved in education followed this guideline often, we would have fewer corruption problems (duh), fewer academic problems, and fewer political problems.
The political wrangling I’ve heard from friends and co-workers across the District is intense at times. Manipulation occurs across the board – students, teachers, administrators, even parents. Good teachers are force-transferred for disagreeing with administrators. Policies are enacted without consulting the people who are supposed to implement them. Too much time is wasted in pointing fingers, avoiding responsibility or maneuvering for control of a situation that negatively affects our students.
I am definitely naïve in thinking this, but I believe this waste of time can be changed from within. I would like to be a part of that change. I’m not sure how I can help, but I feel it’s a good idea to promote positive ideas amongst the thousands of employees of the School District. I would love to offer my support to staff at other schools and vice-versa. The simple process of sharing what works and what doesn’t should not be viewed as a political act but as a collaborative effort to help our children (see first 3 words of post).
Here are just a few specific ideas:
- Teach For America has a great database of lesson plans, worksheets, unit plans, video links, and more, available to their current members and alumni across the US. These resources would be useful to Philadelphia educators, whether new or seasoned.
- Actively advertising technology support would be helpful to novice and experienced teachers alike. I subscribed to the PTRN (Philadelphia Technology Resource Network) listserve, hoping to learn more about application of technology in schools, and have learned so much,
- Easy-to-use discussion forums for ideas. Blogs are great but not everyone knows about everything that’s out there. I read about 6 different educator blogs a day to keep up with new ideas. Just imagine what a central hub for all those ideas could do!