Crossroads

crossroads(This is a rambling, unedited mess. Maybe I will come back and re-write it, maybe not) If you have noticed, I have not written much here lately. I have pulled back on my social media participation. Part of that is out of necessity. Being part of a team that designs and prepares to build a new school is incredibly time-consuming. Yet, there are other reasons why I have not blogged, tweeted, or participated in my usual technology pursuits. I have experienced some personal disillusionment brought on by several factors. My school is being asked to do more with less. The state sends us less money, but tells us to completely revamp our curriculum, change our teacher and administrative evaluation systems, and prepare for yet more exams based on our new curriculum (and we are supposed to use the results to evaluate staff?!) Hard to get my staff and student body fired up about that. . Yet, in some ways we have been lucky. The districts that govern our school have been very fiscally conservative and we have been able to avoid the draconian cuts our neighboring districts have experienced. If things do not change for our state in the next year, though, (fat chance) we will be looking at some serious cuts next year. The new PARCC exams that will be here in a blink of an eye will require us to upgrade our technology. Three years ago we seemed to be on top of the technology wave with lots of new computer technology, but three years of austere budgets leaves us with a very outdated network. We will be forced to upgrade what we have (with resources to be determined?) to do what? Give our students standardized tests? To keep myself moving forward in these times I choose to spend more time with students. Spare moments are spent in hallways, classrooms, and the media center. I like to talk to and tease our students. They remind me everyday why I do what I do. Connecting within the building is more important than connecting anywhere else. Leadership is challenging on the best days. Leading in the times that I have done a poor job of describing is very hard. I know that I cannot let the circumstances we face keep me from being enthusiastic. I have to keep us moving in such a way that we keep our students as our key focus. Sometimes I need to be the crazy guy that dances first (or second). Part of my inspiration has come from this letter written by a teacher. The letter was actually written as a response to thisarticle in the Washington Post. Not moving forward is never an option for me. Now is too important of a time to do anything but fight for what is best for kids. I have come to the conclusion that ultimately I am responsible to my students, not the state mandates, nor the federal requirements. My job is to unveil the insanity of some of the in vogue reforms we are be subjected to and steer our efforts to doing what is best for our kids. That is the road I must take.

Photo courtesy of memfisman2003’s photostream on Flickr

Leave a Reply