The week of October 17th was the worst week of my classroom life. If it could go wrong, it went wrong. Starting with general disorganization at the beginning, peaking with standardized testing in the dark (don’t ask, please, just don’t) and ending with the ultimate insult from a student towards me. Somewhere in there was a football championship game and fun and games with elementary students as a pre Halloween treat. Yet, I walked away from this, the 9th week of the school year, wondering… what the hell is going on?
I discussed it Saturday evening with a colleague. She too, had the week from hell. We wondered if it was us or if the world of education was falling apart or perhaps it really is the children (and their parents) and our armor is no longer a defense against the insanity. We both love education, we both consider ourselves innovators, but, this has become ridiculous.
How does an innovative mindset work in a world gone mad? What do I do next because what I do now no longer appeals to my sense of honor and justice and application of my gifts. Where do I go to re-stoke the fires of my passion before they burn completely out?
On Facebook, I came across a lament by a teacher about how first year teachers will give up almost immediately because their rose colored glasses get slapped off their faces so quickly. He spoke of first and second year teachers who are shell shocked and seriously considering different paths. Where does innovation fit into their world view of their chosen path in life?
So, my question to myself as I prepare for a little rest during Fall Break is this:
How can I take the innovative me and apply it to an art and science of education that quite possibly, has hit rock bottom?
I do know, I want to leave the classroom; not because of the things I’ve grown tired of but because I personally believe that 13 years in a classroom is plenty. I am innovative, always coming up with fresh new ideas, but I also recognize that I should move aside and allow an even fresher view move into my spot. It’s time I mentor and guide and facilitate. It’s time I take what I know and create a new dynamic for both students and educators to become the best they can be. My hands are tied sitting in room 314. Most of my coworkers know it, and tell me so.
So, when are you going to apply all this great edtech and creative stuff you do for the whole district? When will a new position be created, just for you?
They see it. I see it. I, quite honestly, don’t know if I want it. Not because I don’t deserve it or haven’t earned it, but because it’s just not BIG enough of a change. For me, to be the innovator I feel I am meant to be, I MUST work COMPLETELY outside the box. Working inside has been great, and I see the impact I’ve made, but, there is something more, something different that has to happen. I sense it. Not sure exactly how to map it out but that will come.
There has to be more than this. Yes, destroying the monster from the inside is important, but once the monster is destroyed, then what? That’s my query. Those of us who are innovators, are we monster destroyers or creators of the new?
I want to create new. Anyone else?