To be completely honest, I'm a little nervous about this one, specifically the part that says "they override directives." I don't want to sound like a rebel, because I'm a big ol' rule follower. When it comes to my classroom though, I have to go with my heart or as Regie would say, my professional and moral knowledge and judgment. Fortunately, I've been blessed with administrators who believe in my professional and moral knowledge and judgment and let me do my thing. That, I know, is not always the case and is the reason for this quote today.
I spent some time shaking my head this week as I read of one teacher's experience in a school where she has little to no professional autonomy. It's a scenario that makes me cringe and reminds me of how thankful I am to teach where I teach. Here are some things that some teachers deal with.
- Strict pacing guides that require teachers to move on, even when kids don't understand concepts. Everyone is literally on the same page.
- The amount of time spent on each subject is defined down to the minute, so there's not always time for what matters most to kids and teachers.
- There are even rules to what can be displayed in the hallways.
"Purpose + choice = motivation."
Gail Boushey and Joan Moser, The Daily 5 21.
As much as our children need motivation, so do we as teachers. My administration has allowed me a lot of choice. I'm guessing that if the opposite were true, I would not be very motivated. So today I am thankful for professional autonomy. The gift of choice in my classroom is one that I cherish...and all the more reason to make sure my students are afforded that same gift.
(Next week I'll have some guests with me for Saturday Sayings. Come see who it is!)