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Archive for the ‘cooperating Teacher’ Category

When it comes to education reform, there are in general two major camps, but there are also several variations of each. The first camp would like to blow up the system and start all over. The other camp wants to continue the status quo while working to change it in directions governed by whatever dominant force of change has the ear of the public at the time. I find my own inclinations falling somewhere between the two camps. I want to blow some stuff up while improving upon some existing stuff. Like most educators, or any people with a basic understanding of authentic assessment, I do want to blow up any notion or hint of compliance with high stakes, standardized testing. The area of improvement that I think will get us the biggest bang for the all-important, tax buck is professional development.

It has long been my position that to be better educators, we need to be better learners. Since I have worked in higher education now for a while, many teachers have said to me how they love having student teachers in their building, because they can learn so much from the “young people” about all the new stuff in education. Some variation of that phrase has been repeated by more than one educator every year since I have been working with student teachers. To me that is a big RED FLAG. It causes me to ask, “Why does a veteran teacher need to have a student bring them up to date on the latest methodology, pedagogy and technology in the field of education?” If our students are to get a relevant education, should we not have relevant educators? Why on earth would experienced educators need students to provide that which every school district in the country should be striving to provide teachers within their system?

We need to examine the way we approach professional development in education. Too often it is left up to the educators to seek out their own PD. That is good for some, but not all educators have an understanding of what they do not know. If you don’t know about something, how would you know to seek PD in that area? This is especially true of learning with technology. I have a master’s degree in educational technology. The fact is that not any of the applications or computers that I learned on, as well as the methodology in the use of those components, exists today. Very little of that degree would be relevant, if I did not continue to learn, adapt and progress with what I know. The same holds true with any degree in any profession. From the day one gets a degree, things in that area of expertise begin to change. With the influence of a technology-driven culture, things move at a much faster pace than years past causing a more rapid rate of change. Therefore, the pace at which things change has increased exponentially, while the way we provide PD to deal with these changes is relatively unchanged from years past in many, if not most schools.

PD is offered by many schools in an annual or semiannual teacher workshop day. The other method is to allow teachers to seek out their own PD on their own time, often at their own expense. Technology training for teachers is often addressed in schools. The method of choice, however, by many schools is what my friend Brian Wasson, an IT guy, refers to as the “Home Depot Method.” The district goes out and buys all the cool tools from the vendors and then tries to teach, or force feed them to the teachers. That is a sure formula for failure.

We need to change PD. It must be part of an educator’s work week, and that includes administrators. We need educators to connect with other educators to collaborate and maintain relevance. Educators need to explore their needs and address them with solutions of their choosing after exploring the options. Faculty meetings can address procedures in shared documents with educators, while using the time in meetings to discuss pedagogy, methodology, best practices and new ideas. Educators need to be supported in trying new endeavors. When we address PD as evolving and continuous, and not as a teacher workshop day, we will begin to bring relevance back to education. Schools that do this now will be the first to tell us this. Of course, we need to connect with them for that to happen. Connecting educators is a first step.

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Today,  #Edchat’s first Topic was:  Which should we support first for the best result, a reform in student learning (teaching methods), or a reform in teacher learning (PD)? I did have a preference when I made up the question, but I saved my opinion for the chat. There were a few comments about this being a question similar to: which came first, the chicken or the egg? I didn’t see it that way. I was simply looking for the most immediate way to affect needed change in a system that by many accounts is failing to meet goals, as its shortcomings are exacerbated by deepening dependence on data driven decisions based on high stakes testing results.

I have a unique position as an adjunct in the Department of Education in a small private college. I am a supervisor of student teachers in secondary English. My position enables me to visit and observe students totaling 40 to 50 visits a year in middle schools and high schools on Long Island, in New York. In addition to doing observations I often engage with cooperating teachers in discussions about their teaching experiences in their schools. I have observed over a long period of time that each school has its own culture. Some are teacher centered, and some are student centered. Some are tech infused, and some are tech deprived. Some districts are affluent and some have large pockets of poverty within the district. The differences not only vary from district to district, but also from building to building within a district.

It is the combination of the culture of the school combined with the leadership that determines the direction that any new teacher will take. They begin the job with the methods that they have learned, but the application of those methods, and their practice, more often than not, will be influenced, if not determined by the culture and leadership of the schools in which these young teachers have managed to secure jobs.  The career span of an educator goes from 35 to 40 years in the system. The big question is: How do teachers stay relevant in their profession over that span of years? If our society was based on stagnant information that had little change over the years, teaching would be an easy profession. However, over a three, or four decades of teacher’s career in the Twenty-First Century there are huge changes. Changes in methods, technology tools, and even content.  How do teachers stay relevant in this ever-changing world.

Many schools are set up with mentoring programs. Even without official programs the older teachers often take the fledglings under their wing to teach them the way of the school. This all works well as long as there is a healthy culture and a vibrant leadership. If however, there is an unhealthy culture, teachers who are burned out, resistant to change, unwilling to experiment and just putting in the time, that tends to perpetuate itself.

Professional Development is not usually done on school time. The school week is for instruction. There may be workshops offered on a voluntary basis after school hours. Usually there will be some type of Conference day during the year where development is scheduled. Occasionally, a consultant may be provided by the district for a training session on a pet project that an administrator saw at a conference. If there is a technology or IT staff, they may provide occasional workshops, but that is often a bells and whistles presentation of applications. For the most part PD decisions are left up to individual teachers to secure for themselves. This can be done by approved courses or workshops provided by colleges or professional organizations.  Again we are talking about decades of professional development along these lines. This is not true for every school in every district, but I believe it happens in some degree more often than not.

The idea of educators needing to volunteer time and in many cases money to obtain professional development is also a losing battle. As new teachers mature and begin having families, both their time, and money become scarce commodities. There is less available time after school hours. Money is needed for the family before Professional Development. Once an educator falls behind in developments in the profession it is difficult to know what it is he or she does not know. Many view this as a generational gap. I see it as a learning gap, having little to do with age. After not learning new methods, or technology tools of learning for a long period of time, and considering the rate of change with technology, how can educators make informed decisions on what PD they need? This again continues the cycle of poor PD and a resulting lack of reform.

How do we break the cycle? How do we address the needed Professional Development in an ever-changing culture over four decades for each individual educator. The present system does not appear to be meeting the need. There are no simple solutions. What is obvious to me as a connected educator would be to get everyone connected using the internet. Of course for all of the reasons elaborated here most educators are not ready for that solution. Stagnant Professional Development promotes stagnant professionals!

We need to take a fresh approach to Professional Development. We can’t hold people responsible for what they do not know. PD must be included in the work week. We must provide the time and support it with meaningful development. I do believe in giving people choices, but I struggle with the idea that some educators may choose to stay in their comfort zones when we need them to leave those zones behind. The PD must be tailored to specific courses and in some cases to specific teachers or administrators. Education must be addressed and discussed as a profession. Trends should be examined. Experimentation needs to be encouraged. Administrators must lead the PD and not just mandate it. By continuing to educate our educators professionally, we should be able to expect a resulting reform. I don’t see this as a chicken or the egg thing. To be better educators, we need to be better learners.

 

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I am often intrigued by the controversy surrounding the contraction, “ain’t” which, to the best of my knowledge, has been created by the American education system. Contractions are an informal form of the English Language and should not be used when formal language is required. We generally speak informally, but when it comes to writing, we employ the formal language. That being said, the acceptable contraction for “am not” is “ain’t”, therefore it can only be correctly used with the pronoun “I” as in I ain’t going to do that!” The problem occurred when people tried using it with other nouns or pronouns. “We ain’t going!” would then mean “We am not going!” “Jim ain’t here” would be Jim am not here, hence the misuses grew. The solution was easy. Rather than teach to correct use of that contraction, teachers banned its use altogether and made every attempt to have it stricken from every lexicon in the English-speaking world. Even as I write this post, the application, Microsoft Word is red-marking this paragraph like there will be no tomorrow. Of course I will need to ignore the rule, since it has now been established as a rule. The banning of this word from our language is so engrained in the minds of Americans that I will probably get comments from readers taking issue with this entire paragraph. Of course that works to underscore the success of the “Ban the word ‘AIN’T’ Campaign”.

Now that the stage has been set, let me get on to where I want to take you on this journey. This week I took my student teacher group to listen to a guest speaker. The speaker was a personnel director from a local school district who was discussing the ins and outs of securing a teaching position in today’s job market. After we got past the usual things about resume’s and panel interviews, the speaker delved into what she thought first year teachers should do to protect themselves as new teachers. When she told the group that they should not email anything to parents for their first three years of teaching, all of my students turned their heads to see if mine blew off my head. Some of my colleagues nodded and voiced their agreement. I said nothing out of respect for the speaker, but later told my kids that I totally disagreed with that strategy.

Our world is rapidly changing. I will not debate whether it is for the better or worse, but I will clearly agree that we are a culture that is connecting in many ways beyond the age-old face-to-face method employed for thousands of years. We talk, phone, email, text, tweet, Skype, post, and sometimes write letters in order to communicate. If involving parents in the education of their children is a goal for educators, we need to employ whatever form of communication that parents use to accomplish that. We can’t demand that parents conform to our limiting choices that are convenient for us. Email and texting are becoming the methods of choice for communication in our world today.

I fully understand the reasoning behind telling teachers to avoid emailing or texting parents. There are times when these things can be used against a well-intentioned teacher. Teachers live in a fishbowl and are held to a higher standard. They are also targets for people who need to place blame on anyone rather than accept personal responsibility. These are the hazards of our profession and they seem to be being amplified in a society which is growing more dependent on what social media and technology have to offer. The solution to the problem, however, does not lie in banning its use. As teachers, we should always rely on education as our first answer. Learning how to do something correctly is always a better alternative to not doing it at all.

Rather than condemning the use of tools that our society is embracing, we need to teach the correct way to use them. It is true that the written word can be used against a teacher, but any words written or spoken can be turned. Look at our political system where that happens every day.  We need to teach teachers to consider their words and communicate clearly no matter what form of communication they use. It is not the tool that makes teachers look bad; it is what they say that does that. A parent who is informed about his or her child’s progress and shortcomings has a fighting chance to affect change in their child’s education. The sooner they have that information the quicker things can happen. Of course if the parent has been informed and chooses not to act that is not the fault of the teacher. If email or texting is the preferred method for the parent to get this information then why are we trying to fight that?

We need to streamline the communication for quick results. For years teachers complained that they had no phones in the classroom to communicate with parents. In its day the phone was the technology tool for communication. Today, many, many classrooms have phones for accessing parents. The technology however, has developed forms of communication beyond the phone as we once knew it. For that reason most schools provide email accounts for teachers. What schools now need to do is teach the teachers how to best use that tool. Schools need to teach what to say and how to say it for best results, because this stuff is not intuitive. As I often say, we no longer have a choice about technology. It is what we use in our everyday lives. It does not matter that we can remember when we did not have it. We do not move backwards in time. We need to teach people how to move forward, because no one has been there yet.

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I had a busy morning today. I observed a student teacher for her final observation, and I made it home in time to participate in the weekly noon #Edchat on Twitter. As I participated in the #Edchat I was struck by the fact that it had a great deal to do with a conversation I had with my student’s cooperating teacher in a high school that morning.

The conversation that I had with this high school teacher took place in the school’s computer lab. It was a very relaxed session, as all of the students were involved in a Web Quest in support of their recent reading of  Inherit the Wind. They were now learning first-hand about the “Scopes Monkey Trial”.  I observed that the computer Lab had an Interactive White Board installed on the wall. I remarked to the teacher that it struck me that this is not the most effective place for an IWB, since every student sat at a desktop computer. A simple, less-expensive digital projector could serve as well, and that would free up an IWB for a classroom. That started the conversation ball rolling.

The teacher told me that the school received a grant for the IWB’s and Boards were placed in many of the classroom’s two summers ago. There was little regard for where they were placed in the rooms, or what rooms were to receive them. Since, according to our discussion, it was not evident that teachers were consulted in the planning stage, or the implementation stage, so the teachers had little to say in what rooms or where in those rooms boards were to be installed. That is why the board in this teacher’s room is not at a focal point, but on the side of the room. No one ever asked! The teacher continues to be upset over this every time she uses the board. Students must be repositioned or redirected to use the IWB.

Of course, professional development always at the top of my list, I asked if the staff received adequate preparation before using the IWB’s in the class. The staff received an overview workshop was the answer. There was a second training workshop later in the year for those who attended. Obviously, someone must have thought that just the mere fact the district is installing technology in a classroom should be incentive enough for a teacher to self-teach him or herself in order to use that technology. Could you imagine the airline, or medical industries using the same strategies for their people to learn and be incented to use the technology in their respective industries? Here’s a 747 pilots. Aren’t you excited?  The overview will be next week. Here is Robotic Laser, doctors. Be careful when you use it. You can sign up for a workshop at our next training day.

So, here is what seems to have happened. The district got a grant for IWB’s. It had to move quickly to install them, since they arrived in the summer. They put the IWB’s where they could be easily installed in classrooms that gave good visibility to the public. Professional development was either not part of the grant or too expensive to pay for in addition, so they settled for the overview provided by the manufacturer. There is little time during the year to provide Professional Development, so teachers had to wait for a conference day.

The result could have been predicted. Teachers were never on board or even consulted. Teachers begin to resent the entire effort. They use the IWB’s as projectors and cite this as another example of wasteful spending at the expense of larger classes. The administrators say that they are providing cutting edge Technology to the teachers, who refuse to use it. Of course the New York Times could pick up the story and say Schools are spending too much on technology that teachers fail to use with any positive outcome for student learning.

Of course, there must be more to this than I was able to get from a brief conversation. I do know that I have heard many similar stories from many educators from all over our country. I do not think this scenario falls too short of the mark even with my liberal use of poetic license. As you read this, I am sure many similar cases are speeding through your head. Of course, I will get comments from some IT people and administrators who just don’t get it. That is to be expected since they view things through a different lens.

When I participated in the afternoon #Edchat the topic was:  What changes could be made to the present management structure of education to make it more effective for educators? Of course this topic had my head swimming with the ideas from the earlier conversation. Administrators need to lead not mandate, or dictate initiatives and policy. They need to engage their staff. Education has the highest percentage of educated people in its industry. They are education experts. They have degrees in education. Why not consult with them on affairs of education? The more that we involve teachers with the development of policies, the more they will buy into the success of those policies. The more teachers point out flaws and misconceptions, the stronger the policy becomes in consideration of those shortcomings. Administrators should not view teachers as a problem. They are not the enemy. Teachers have much to offer as education experts. Lead and work with them as consultants. Education administrators need more staff consultation and leadership and less control and reactive policy directives.

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Ever since I started writing my blog, I wondered when I would reach the end of my road and run out of things to rant about. It seems that every time I approach that point, something pops up to get me started again. As luck would have it, two such events occurred today. One incident happened early today and the second came later in the day. Of course, for dramatic effect I will begin with the later.

Late in the afternoon I had an appointment with my dentist for a cleaning. It’s one of the many ways my dentist has arranged for me to pay his rent. I see my dentist quite often. When I arrived at the waiting room, the receptionist greeted me with a big smile and three pages of blank forms. She apologized for inconveniencing me, but THE LAW required her to have me fill out the forms. I immediately looked at her desk and asked what catastrophe had befallen her computer? She was puzzled. I told her that all of the blank spaces on three pages of forms were requiring me to complete information already in the computer. She agreed, but again said THE LAW requires us to have you fill out these forms. Again I said, “You already have all of this information and more in your data bank.  Why am I being required to handwrite out on three forms information that already exists on your computer?” She quickly left the waiting room in search of a supervisor. I must admit, I might have been strongly influenced by the Occupy Wallstreet demonstrations that I had been following all day. They were also being shown on the TV in the waiting room. Was this my stand against THE LAW for the 99 percenters?

Emerging from the dental-technology-filled rooms in the back, the supervisor approached me. The first two words from her mouth were THE LAW, and then continued; require that you provide this information on these forms.  Again, I said, “you have that information already.” She reluctantly wrote a line at the top of the top form” nothing has changed” and placed a check next to it. I signed the form.

The other incident, earlier in the day, was more education oriented, but just as vexing. As a matter of fact it was probably more egregious, because educators should know better in 2011, almost 2012.  I observed one of my pre-service teachers today. She has a student teaching assignment in a high school English position. She delivered a great collaboration lesson and we were debriefing the lesson after the class. I asked about the next lesson planned for the class. She looked at me with a reluctant look on her face. I sensed that she was about to tell me something, that she knew, I was not going to be in favor of. She qualified her answer with the fact that she was obligated to do as her cooperating teacher directed her. I agreed, and again asked what was next, since she referred to an upcoming essay in her lesson. She came clean. The class is to handwrite an essay in class before we go to the computer lab so they can type the essay on the computer.

My students know that word processing enables kids to write at a higher level, and they are more likely to make corrections and rewrites when using a word processor. A word processor is not a typewriter. We write in a word-processing world and our students should learn in the same way. My students also know that this is my strong belief. However, I could not fault my student, since it is not her choice for the students, but that of their teacher. I have been burned in the past when I approached cooperating teachers on some ill-conceived methods used in class. I have learned to smile, say thanks, leave, and then have a long talk with my students in the safety of my own classroom.

If we, as educators, do not understand the reasoning and potential of technology, we will not use it effectively and then blame that inefficiency on the technology. It is too easy to use technology without understanding and find fault with it not fulfilling the implied promise. We assume everyone understands that computers collect, manipulate, and communicate data in any form needed. We assume everyone understands the power of computers in regard to writing, publishing, and communicating the written word. Unfortunately, I have come to believe that we cannot make these assumptions. We need to educate or educators if we are to have any hope to educate or children.

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For the first time since I have been supervising student teachers, I have a group at the start of the year, as opposed to my usual assignment at the latter half of the school year. This has brought to light a subject that I often fought against as a teacher, and now have to counsel student teachers on how best to approach the subject. Summer Reading: how do we assess it?

New York State’s recommendation for reading is that each student completes reading 25 books per year. Most adults don’t even approach that goal, but adults have to work and their time is committed  to other stuff. It is understandable that adults’ time must be dedicated to other stuff. Kids have more time to read than adults. In a 24 hour period a kid’s time is taken up by: one hour preparing to get to school, seven to eight hours in school, two hours extra-curricular (depending on the sports’ season), and one to two hours of homework. Let’s allow an hour and a half to eat dinner and chill. That has accounts for Eleven to Thirteen hours. If we consider the ten to twelve hours of recommended sleep, that would leave one to two hours per day that a kid could be, and should be reading to get to 25 books per year. It all works out on paper. I always loved the expression, “Man plans, and God laughs”.

For all of the reasons mentioned it is difficult to get all 25 books done in the school year. Of course, if you ever went into a Border’s Book’s during the summer when there was a Border’s Books, you would see an awesome display of Books for the Summer Reading Lists for your school. Summer reading is highly recommended to keep those young brains sparking away. Many districts assign multiple books to really charge up those summer-lazy brains. Hopefully, thought was given to those  book lists to be high interest level books of brevity, so there would be at least a chance of accomplishment. War and Peace is not a beach book. It has been my experience that those who make up these lists are often people who love reading and actually read 25 books per year or more. In their day, they must have been the best students, if we are to consider  the New York State recommendations as an indicator. I do believe that reading is important, and we should, most definitely, provide suggested lists to students for summer reading.

That being said, I need to talk a little bit about my understanding of assessment. I always approach assessment as a tool for the teacher. Formative assessment tells the teacher how well the teaching is going. Is there a reason to re-do something, or is it time to move on? Summative assessment is the final result. After all is said and done, how much was learned? It is like a chef who needs to taste the cooking until the diner gets the plate (formative). The diner tasting the meal is the final assessment (summative).

Now we move on to the point of all of this. Students are told that they MUST do the summer reading. This may be in more than one reading and in more than one academic subject. They are also told that there will be a test within a short period of time from the start of school which will go into their average. By the way tests are one form of assessment, so this test should be formative or summative. If the teacher is using it as formative assessment than it is testing how effective the lesson was, but there was no lesson. Therefore, it must be a summative assessment. How much learning was accomplished from the activity?

One would hope that in an ideal situation, we could get most of our students to at least an 85% achievement level. If the entire class did not get there, it might be necessary for the teacher to revisit a number of things to clarify and expand on some ideas. After all a good chef does this to complete the course for the summative assessment of the diner. Sometimes, if at first you don’t succeed… There is always a re-test after fine tuning. This would be wonderful if that was done.

This does not always occur in the real world of education. Some teachers give the final test and what  a student gets is what student gets. “You should have completed the reading.” “You had every opportunity and all the time of the summer to get it done.” “ You knew the rules going in.” “ This is the way our department does it.” “ That is what summer reading is all about.” “ I don’t make the rules, I follow them.” Does any of this sound familiar?

What does a failing grade on the summer reading test indicate? After all it is a summative assessment so it should tell us something. Does it indicate the student has a reading problem? Does it indicate that the student fails to make connections. Is it an indication that there is a problem with higher order thinking skills? Does it indicate a need for remediation? Are there emotional problems interfering with learning? These are all possibilities. This is what teachers should be asking of any summative assessment that identifies a student’s failure to learn.

Of course if these are not the questions being addressed by the teacher, there might be another reason for this assessment grade to be averaged into the student’s average. It is not assessment, but PUNISHMENT. The student did not do what he or she was told, and the student needs to pay a price in the form of a lowered average. That should require an asterisk on the grade at the end of the year stating that the average is not a true account of the student’s ability to learn. It has been skewed to account for punishment for not reading over the summer.

Many of those students who receive punishment for not reading do not take it as a constructive criticism, for that is not what it is. It is intended to be a negative experience, as all punishment is. That does not promote reading. There are many ways to assess things beyond a test. Group discussions, and projects based on the reading give reasons to students to complete the reading. Teachers need to remember that we are here to promote and nurture learning and not to punish students into submission. Leave that for the behavior policy. Assessment is not for punishment.

I am sure there will be comments on this and they are welcomed. I am off to read book number two, the year will soon be over!

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After the earthquake on the East Coast last week, I guess I had the term “Shake-Up” on my mind. I don’t know which I considered first, the title, or the post.  The beginning of the school year has arrived as many of us do every year, I am wondering what I will do differently this year from those same classes that I had last year. This is something that many teachers consider as they enter a new year. It is also something that many teachers do not ultimately address, but rather settle for many of the same methods and tools of the previous year to get through the new.

If a teacher developed a lesson, worksheets, quizzes, and tests that worked last year, why reinvent the wheel. It takes a great deal of time to develop this stuff, and who has time today?  This year’s students never saw this stuff before, so it is new to them. As a secondary teacher of 34 years, I have been in this very same spot. That is how I know it does go on. I have done this. I also recognized it as a fault as I did it. This practice, unfortunately, just reinforces the status quo, and that is the thing that has been under so much scrutiny lately.

If there is one thing that supports the status quo in the education system, it is the way teachers are assigned classes for their schedule. Some schools have almost a cast system. The youngest most inexperienced teachers get the leftover classes. The”problem classes” no one else wants. The teachers, who have been around awhile, the experienced teachers, get the cream of the crop. The result is that the kids who need the most experienced teachers get the newbies. The kids, who are self-motivated life-long learners and have the ability to search out content on their own, get the teachers who are there because they are recognized as content experts.

Teachers who are interested in starting classes often work very hard initially to develop curriculum and selling their course to their “superiors”. If they are lucky, they are given the opportunity to teach that class and it becomes theirs. They actually take ownership and it is their course and deservedly so. However, ownership of classes continues for many years with one teacher, teaching specific classes possibly over decades.

It stands to reason that a teacher who has taught a course over years is truly a content expert for that course. Up until now content expertise is what was demanded of educators in all the previous years of our system. Content is King. The problem comes in when innovation goes out. The creativity that was used by that teacher to get the course up and running is replaced over the years by habit and complacency. Innovation is hard and things have been going along fine without it. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. No, not every teacher falls prey to this attitude, but many do, too many.

Of all the problems in our system, this is not the biggest one. I believe however, that it is more prevalent than schools care to admit. Maybe it is time for a Shake Up. Maybe we should consider rotating teachers around after a few years in one area. There are some licensing areas that are subject-specific, especially in science. Other areas are less specific. A teacher certified in secondary English is expected to be able to teach any English course on the secondary level. Maybe three years is enough time for a teacher to teach a specific subject before getting a new assignment. There will be disappointments, but maybe that can be turned around by the creative juices of innovation. If nothing else it will promote collaboration between colleagues. It might also have teachers seek out best practices by others.

This need not be limited to teachers. There are many administrators in large districts who might benefit by a rotation to another school in the district. It would expose them to the culture and leadership of another school. It would broaden their leadership experiences. This would certainly hold true for department chairs as well as assistant principals.

Of course this Shake Up idea will probably go nowhere for one reason, the comfort zone. That is the ultimate place that we all strive to find. Once we find it, we want to always live there because life in the comfort zone is easy. The sky is always blue and everything is right with the world in the comfort zone. If we are to change the system, we need to change the culture. We need to change the comfort zones of educators. They need to be comfortable with, innovation and change. In order to make that happen, they need support. Support from Administrators, parents, colleagues, and kids. If we really want to support change, we need to all support teachers. Since we expect a great deal from teachers, our full and unwavering support is the least they should expect from us. The Shake-Up applies to all.

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