the third rail

moving things forward

Respect your elders

August 25, 2009 by seanwilliams · 3 Comments · teaching

No matter which side of the health care debate you are on, the town hall meetings have been interesting to say the least. What I have noticed more than anything is the apparent inability of our “leaders” to deal with us common folk. Seriously, in some of the meetings our representatives have been astonished that people will not bow down to them. Or listen to them and pay them respect~ just because they are congressmen, and it has come as a surprise to many.

Arlen Specter faces fury

I think this is so interesting because I can see connections to our educational system. There are many teachers/admins/district personnel /superintendents out there in the same position as our congressmen. While they have undoubtedly heard about the how flat the world is and how web 2.0 has empowered people they are thinking it doesn’t apply to their circumstance. Each cozy in their own little bubble.

Hope are we going to react when we have students coming in like the people at the town hall meetings? Knowing that they do not have to come to our classroom when they could go to a virtual classroom. When parents have all the information they could want and start using it to vet schools and admins? What about when parent groups start going to the district or superintendent asking (or demanding) for more options for learning?

I think what is happening at these town hall meetings is coming to a multi purpose room near you! People are not settling for “leave it to us, we know what’s best for you” leadership anymore and education needs to realize this. This is not an attack on anyone (particularly my own district) just some observations.

3 Comments so far ↓

  • Mark Hammons

    I’ve been thinking about this as well… when in 5-10 years, my two children will be in school, and I know that I’ll want better for them than what is being served right now. (No, I’m not talking about lunch)

    I don’t want to be that parent, but I fear that I might be.

  • Chris Bell

    You know my take on the traditional system near us. It works very well for many students, but it does not work for all and there needs to be more options for students in both elementary on up to high school.

    I am very unsure of what I will do when Ethan is ready for school in about 4 years. Will I choose the excellent school near our home with the high API (and lots of traffic)? Will his teacher kill and drill him with worksheets? I will not put my child into a system that only cares about test scores and what college he will get into.

    How about private school? Not likely I can afford it as a public educator. How about homeschooling? If I had the time to devote to it, then it would be an excellent opportunity, but both Erica and I are too busy supporting other students to really give it the time and attention that Ethan would deserve.

    We have a lot of decisions to make in the coming years. I feel very fortunate to live in a state that does promote alternative forms of personalized learning. At least I will have options…

  • seanwilliams

    Thanks for the comments!
    Mark-I think you will not be alone as “that parent”, just look at the comment from Chris.
    You guys are looking forward but I don’t think our schools are. When you guys hit the local school and start asking these questions the admins are going to be labeling you as “angry mobs” I fear.

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