Saturday, December 13, 2014

Now That I Know Better, I Do Better - Maya Angelou

The message to my staff this week: IF YOU KNOW BETTER; DO BETTER!.

Each of us does things that we know are not good for us.  Or... maybe I should just speak for myself. I do things that I know are not good for me. I drink too much caffeine. I eat too much processed food, I barely sleep. Sometimes I forget to eat.  So the question becomes, If we know it is not good for us, why do we do it?

The answer is not so simple.

When speaking of these personal no-no's I do them because it's easy. It's delicious. It makes me feel good. My mind won't stop. Or.... I'm just too busy and forget.

So the question becomes why do we continue to do them in our professional lives?  Why do we still see popcorn reading in our classrooms when there is no research to support it's effectiveness? In fact, the research negates it's effects. Info on Popcorn Reading
More Info On Popcorn Reading

Why don't we see real independent reading times in the classroom when we the research supports it and, in fact, says it may be some of the most authentic reading practice a student can get?
Information on Ind. Reading
More Info On Ind. Reading

Why do we spend millions and millions of dollars on canned programs when we know that it's the people, not the program? People Not the program

Why do we still see some teachers withhold recess as punishment when again, research shows that there is no positive effect on student behavior? In fact, research shows that it actually has a negative effect.
Recess Research
Recess and behavior

Why do we use classroom behavior charts or stop lights when we know that students can be shamed or embarrassed by them?
Research on Behavior charts

There are a lot of educational practices that have been around for a while that have been proven to be

ineffective or less effective than others. So why are they educational practices?

I believe we maintain these educational practices for two reasons:  It's easy and we are just to busy to change.

In fact, maybe there is a third reason.....We are afraid.  Afraid that the educational landscape has changed so much that we can't keep up. We are afraid that technology is moving so fast that there is no way that we can keep up so, why try.

Why try?  Because that is why we became educators and got into this profession. That is why we do what we do. Try because each student needs you. Each student needs you to do what is right. In order to give our students everything they need, we need to take risks and try everything we can to reach them.  If someone gives us research that supports a practice or doesn't support another practice, we need to use it! Use it and use it, and use it! Make it our practice and our philosophy! Take the leap. 

I think I will try to eat better and sleep more.