As the worst school year in most teachers’ careers comes to an end and summer begins, some much-needed reflection is not happening.
Contrary to popular belief, most teachers continue to work throughout the summer. Most teachers’ summers include professional development and continued learning. This year especially, crucial reflection about the state of education is being stifled in a rush to return to the status quo.
There is an entire industry of reinforcing the status quo in education, an industry devoted to telling educators they’re OK — or telling them they’re not and then offering to fix them. Best-selling authors and other motivational speakers are paid handsomely to tour districts and speak at conferences. They tell us to be “relentless” in our work with students, to “live our excellence,” and that “no matter what happens outside the school walls,” we can help students. Different speakers, different keynotes, but the message is effectually the same: you the educator can change all of it.