Perhaps Oprah Winfrey and Bill Gates would like to come to Randolph? If you didn’t see her show yesterday, it was a general indictment of public education, teachers and administrators in part as a response to the new movie “Waiting for Superman”. I’m naturally sensitive to an assault on public education because I’ve dedicated 21 years of my life to it, to improving it for all of our kids. I’m also sensitive to the pervasive negativity that ignores all of the good work being done every day by teachers, administrators and support staff.
At least 1000 things go right every week for our kids and those things go unnoticed. It’s okay that they go unnoticed because our parents and community SHOULD expect us to do our jobs, take care of our kids and to lead learning for them. Do we need to change the public school system so that kids are learning differently? Absolutely. But that doesn’t mean that all of the hard working teachers who ARE getting it right every day, need to be expunged so that others can do the job better. We can do it better ourselves and we are.
In my experience, teachers give their best each and every day. And when we ask them to do something differently, when we lead them to change the system in ways that give our students the opportunities to learn with passion, innovation and technology. . . they’re right there with us. We’re doing that right now in Randolph, learning will not look the same here three years from now that it does today. BUT that doesn’t mean that what we’re doing now is wrong or bad or harmful. . . our kids are learning and excelling in many ways, they’re positive participants in this entire system of schooling.
Come and see what our teachers are doing with our students, every day. Come and see where we are teaching kids to communicate, to problem solve, to analyze and create, to take initiative and to lead. And where we can do better, we will.
We get that public education is an antiquated system that was designed to sort kids, house them while parents worked factory jobs and prepare the children to comply in that setting. BUT if you think that’s all that we are, you are seriously mistaken.
Jamie Vollmer over at AASA discusses the topic much more eloquently than me, go read Public School Bashing: A Dangerous Game and see what you think.