My friend, Tom Whitby, an educator and blogger has put out a call for blog posts centered around positivity in education to counter all of the negativity going on. I recently wrote a post on the Cooperative Catalyst blog called “What (Really) Works,” trying to focus on what works in education rather than what doesn’t.
I refuse to get caught up in the “what’s broken” conversations. It’s the same reason I rarely sat in the lunchroom at my former schools. Sure, we all need some group therapy every once in a while, but when we focus too much on the negative, we start to lose sight of why we do what we do.
So I invite you, whether teacher or parent or community member, to be an ‘Edupunk.’ Don’t get sucked into negative conversations. If the people around you are talking about how schools are failing kids, how we are behind other countries in test scores, how we should fire bad teachers and expand charters, I challenge you to bring up the fact that there are lots of successful schools doing amazing things with students and teachers who are dedicated to doing whatever it takes not to raise student test scores but to raise students’ consciousness and give them meaningful educational experiences that will prepare them not for a test or a job but for life.
If you need examples of some of these schools, districts and teachers, here are a few examples:
- Science Leadership Academy, Philadelphia
- Look at these administrators who blog about their schools as well as teaching, leading and learning: Patrick Larkin and Eric Sheninger
- Check out some of the posts at the Cooperative Catalyst blog
- Read all of the teachers who have signed onto Joe Bower’s call for a grading moratorium
- Read how Hadley Ferguson wants her students to care more about the learning process than the grade they get
There are so many others I could name who work hard every day and take risks in the classroom in the name of innovation and authentic learning experiences.
So rather than focus on the media, let’s be Edupunks who go against the negativity and do what’s best for kids. If we talk enough about what works and what’s working, we might actually get somewhere.