Thursday, May 14, 2015

On Behalf of Teachers

If you talk teaching for very long, you're going to end up on teacher pay. We're looking at a career that is characterized by an increasing number of hoops to jump through and fewer and fewer sugar cubes and carrots. We're political footballs, we're the firewall between the children and harmful testing scenarios, we're... I could go on and on and on and on. And on. It wouldn't be constructive. I'm not going to make the case that teachers should make more money. They should.

Instead, my beef is that the forces of boring have made school dull. School used to be fun. When I was a kid, we made dioramas and put on plays, we spent a whole week singing songs to practice for a Mother's Day show. And I don't know about you, but the stuff that bores the students? It bores the heck out of me, too! I'm novelty driven and big hearted. I want to do stuff with my kids that's exciting, inspiring, and awesome. And if I can't, I'm done. Seriously. There are things we have to do, sure, and we'll do it because we love working with kids, but once we're done doing what we have to do, let's start doing cool stuff. If we teach with fun and projects, the kids will actually remember the stuff we're trying to cram in their head. I remember childhood projects 30-something years later. I don't remember any of my worksheets.

Make your classroom a fun place to be. Do work that you're excited to tell people about. Make the world more amazing with your work. Use your position to share the awesome things of the world with your students. Help them find their passions, help them find their voices, help them elevate their voices and change the world. It won't raise your pay (not immediately anyway), and it won't take away the noise of politicians who don't know what they're talking about. What it will do is electrify your career.

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