So I took a few days off from blogging. I would love to say that the lengthy delay was planned, but let's just say life can sometimes get in the way. Anyhow, now I'm back.
Last week was my spring vacation. It was wonderful. I was able to spend a lot of time with my little boy which was amazing. However, two of the days I attended a training put on by the group Growing Educators. These two women were trained at the Teacher's College at Columbia University and have since moved out west and created their own company to help spread the balanced literacy curriculum within our schools. The training was outstanding. I always walk away from this particular group's workshops feeling inspired and motivated. It is such a breath of fresh air from the mundane discussion of Open Court this or Treasures that (for non teachers those are the scripted reading programs the district uses in its schools). The curriculum discussed at this training requires teachers to think, plan, and adapt their instruction to meet the needs of their students. It assumes teachers are inherently intelligent and capable as opposed to lazy and incompetent. It pushes the educator to constantly change and grow as not only a teacher, but a learner as well.
The most interesting thing to me about these two days was the number of attendees and their enthusiasm. It was spring break, they were not being paid, but these teachers were so excited for the opportunity to be trained in an approach to teaching that requires all that is right with education and ignores the accepted, but ineffective norms. The teacher trainers that were at the training helping Growing Educators were teachers from my school. All amazing women, and all incredible teachers. They lead us less experienced teachers through the writing curriculum with expertise and passion. Three of the four leaders are waiting to hear if their RIF notices will be rescinded. Here they are, some of the best our profession has to offer and they too were let go. Despite this, they were at training on their vacation helping other teachers. This selflessness amazed me. They don't act in their own interest, but in the interest of the greater good. They were there to help teachers better teach kids. Amazing.
As many employees of LAUSD wait to hear what the district and union are able to negotiate in regards to concessions to save jobs I hope this attitude of selflessness spreads. While it would be difficult to take 12 furlough days (which is what is currently on the table) it would save jobs, it would keep classes smaller, and that would help kids. I hope teachers are able to see beyond their own best interest and do not take this opportunity to stand up to the district. No one wants furloughs, no one wants a pay cut, but no one wants to be fired either. Imagine a world where teachers set the example of sacrifice for the greater good. Maybe our students would learn this important lesson and implement it in their own lives. Clearly the people running the government or corporations today never learned this. Maybe future generations just need a teacher to show them. The question is will there be any teachers left to do just that?