Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Let's talk with each other

"To be a recipient of a communication is to have an enlarged and changed experience. One shares in what another has thought and felt and in so far, meagerly or amply, has his own attitude modified. Nor is the one who communicates left unaffected." --John Dewey

There’s lots of goodness in the "Talk TO me" post at Autodizactic.

These pieces really resonate with me:


I’m a teacher.

Please talk to me and not about me.

I understand we’ve been talking about each other for a while, and I’d like to work on ending this game of phone tag

…I wanted to thank you, though, for drawing attention to the importance of teacher quality. I’ve been working on mine since I entered the classroom in 2003.

From in-services at the end of school days to sometimes weeks-long trainings in the summer to attending professional conferences, I’ve really attempted to learn as much as possible.

That’s just the formal stuff. Since right around the time it launched, I’ve been connecting with teachers across the world through twitter and other social media tools to help me workshop ideas for helping my kids learn. Are you on twitter? If you are, follow me.

Plus, I’ve been using my blog as a space to play with ideas before implementing them in the classroom as well as a place to share the things that work so others can take them an build off of them.

Oh, also, I’ve connected with a couple of non-profit groups nationally and internationally that work to help teachers be better, well, teachers.

…You might be surprised to hear about it, but quite a few teachers are doing some great things in their classrooms. If you’ve got a feed reader, go ahead and subscribe. I’ll be writing about more teachers soon.

In fact, I know at least one teacher in every state personally. You should too; they’re doing some amazing work.

… I know the government has allocated quite a bit of money to helping schools and districts improve teaching and learning.

I was just wondering why nobody checked in with me or my colleagues about how we could use that money to shape lives and help our kids

… I don’t want my kids thinking I’m teaching them stuff so I can get more money. I’ve got this thing going where I help them come up with questions about their lives and their worlds and then help them to work to find answers to those questions.

I worry that, if they found out about merit pay, they’d start to wonder if I was just teaching them stuff so I could get paid more rather than because I wanted them to be thoughtful and caring citizens.

Changing mindsets The "Talk TO Me" post is a call in that direction.

We need dialog

We need conversations

And more than “talk TO me’

I’d far rather see

Let’s talk

Let’s listen


We need to engage in difficult conversations together. We need to delve deeply into convoluted waters with courage and tenacity. We need to emerge on the other side willing and ready to suggest new initiatives that may also involve messy yet compelling dialogue.

We need to talk with each other.

Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/23964209@N00/758284368

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