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Pressing On.

Sometimes I find my resilience cracking when it comes to standing up for meaningful, authentic instruction.  I get tired of being judged and questioned and badgered.  Thankfully I’m surrounded by people who encourage me even during the rough patches.  Not just in this online community, but also in the real world.  One (of the many) who encourage me in my day to day life is another coach.  She has been sharing with me books, stories, articles, and videos which renew my resolve to continue standing up for meaningful literacy instruction.

Recently she gave me an article from Phi Delta Kappan by Steven Wolk.  In “Why Go To School?” he concludes:

“Why go to school?  We can no longer tinker with a broken and inhuman paradigm of schooling.  We must stop schooling our children as if they were products and reclaim our schools as sacred places for human beings.  We must rethink our classrooms as vibrant spaces that awaken consciousness to the world, open minds to the problems of our human condition, inspire wonder, and help people to lead personally fulfilling lives.  If our democracy is to thrive, our schools must change into these exciting spaces.  Otherwise, we will not be a democracy “of the people,” but a corporate nation of workers, TV viewers, and shoppers.  As professional educators, it is our responsibility to challenge our curricula and to create schools that are personally and socially transformative.  That’s why we should go to school” (658).

She also shared with me this video, The Heart of a Teacher, which includes a poem by Paula Fox coupled with music and images.  May your heart be warmed tonight and you find the wherewithal to continue to press on.

Ruth Ayres View All

Unhurried. Finding the magic in the middle of living. Capturing a life of ridiculous grace + raw stories.

6 thoughts on “Pressing On. Leave a comment

  1. We all need to be encouraged at times! Thanks for this post. I shared the link to Heart of a Teacher with my teacher writing group and used it as a base for our writing prompt. Very inspirational!


  2. Well said! When you said that schools should be reclaimed as sacred places…. that really spoke to me.
    Thank you for such an insightful post.


  3. It is difficult sometimes…well ok, all the time. But it’s communities like this that keep us going and remind us that there are like minded colleagues out there who are willing to fight the good fight with us. I am lucky enough to have many of them at my school, but I value my on-line “teacher friends” just as much.


  4. Hi,

    I completely agree with your comments. I think mainstream education tends to hang on to the bastion of its consumerist tradition, influenced by the Industrial Revolution of the 19th century. The goal of such a tradition, as amplified by the emphasis on NCLB standardized testing, is to mass produce graduates to enter into a factory/assembly line based workforce. Neither are students widgets to be assembled, boxed, and sold to the public, nor is our workforce an assembly line. Industry has changed, the need for deep meaningful learning has changed, and the technological prowess of our society have all changed since this pedagogical traditionalism was created. So then, why has our education systems changed in parallel, and why do reformers who strive to push education forward receive obstinance from the status quo? over time, unwillingness to change will only destroy our nation’s ability to create adults who can think for themselves.


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