Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Freedom to be Flexible

flexible(Today’s post is for the letter F in the A-Z challenge.)
I understand that we have state and federal standards. I understand that we need to make sure that all teachers are accountable and that our students are learning the most they can.
But students are not robots.
I don’t care how many times I talk to non-educators; I have to keep repeating that all students are different.
I agree that all students can learn.
Yet, I believe that all students do learn differently and at different paces.
That is what makes all of us individuals.
I believe that my husband is the smartest man I know but he learns completely differently than I do. He also learns at a different pace than I do. In fact, it is always interesting when we take the same class and we each have a different perspective about what we have learned.
I also think more educators see this in their classrooms than we actually know about. But many have their hands tied by these rigid standards that they are evaluated by. These standards don’t just apply to the teacher but also to the student that they teach to. When we are dealing with human beings, I believe it is impossible that everyone is the same.
I think our classrooms would be more effective if we let good teachers have the freedom to be flexible. Good teachers need to evaluate their own strengths and the strengths of their students. Using this information, teachers can teach more effectively and efficiently.
When I am having construction done on my house, I trust that the contractor and the construction crew know what they are doing. I don’t try to micromanage the crew every step of the way. When I go to the dentist, I trust that the dentist and his staff will do what needs to be done on my teeth. The same goes for my doctors that keep me healthy. When I go to a restaurant, I trust that the employees there will do what needs to be done to prepare and serve my meal. I don’t go in and inspect the kitchen and test the staff. I trust that the health department and employer have taken care of those items. At some point, society, the administrators, and the taxpayers need to trust teachers to do the job that they were trained to do. I admit that there are some teachers who are no good teachers but if administrators did their job the way they were trained to do, they could get rid of these teachers.
Are you allowed flexibility in your job? If so, in what ways? If not, what kind of flexibility would you like more of? Please share.
Image: 'Flexible'

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