Very few professions have to defend their existence the way teachers do. There seems to be an insatiable need to critique teachers and “fix” education via “fixing” teachers. Often what this looks like is formulas and best practices compiled in a rubric meant to facilitate teacher accountability and increase effectiveness. Teachers pushback with some iteration of “teaching is an art not a science.” After more than a decade in the classroom, and now as a school leader, I can say that it is both, and that neither is going to “fix” education. After a decade of failures, of lowering expectations, of providing insufficient scaffolds, of nurturing relationships, finessing escalated behaviors I can confidently say that the most effective tool in the classroom is a political consciousness.
What I mean by this is that what mattered the most was not any specific best practice I mastered, or even how I developed and nurtured my relationships; what mattered the most in my classroom, and every classroom I’ve seen in my career, is how relevant and rigorous my classroom was.
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