Yesterday, I engaged in an interesting Twitter conversation with Bill Ferriter that I initiated as a response to his posting, "All Hail the Mighty Media Specialist."
Bill was voicing his frustration with an educational system that increasingly judges his value via standardized test scores. He was angry that "As soon as our test scores come back, I stand alone under the lens. It's my practice that is questioned and my performance that is judged."
"As the teacher of a tested subject, I hate the 'we're a team' rhetoric that surrounds schools in an era of coercive accountability...'We' becomes 'you' pretty darn quick when the numbers are off. 'Our work' becomes 'your work' every time when 'improvement' is needed...Is that resentment healthy? Nope. But it's real...and I'll bet you I'm not the only teacher who feels this way."I thought both his posting and the ensuing dialogue was valuable because it raised the dual issues of standardized testing and teacher accountability...with the added question of how the teacher/librarian fits into the school community.
Unfortunately, Bill decided to pull the original posting. In its place, he has written "Alright Already, I Surrender", with no comments allowed. In his explanation for this decision, he tell us that
"I...spent the past nine hours dealing with emotional responses. People expressed surprise at my unwillingness to be a team player. They questioned my intentions. They thought my comments were hurtful and unproductive.
For those of you who had the chance to read my post, I hope it challenged you to think differently. It was intended to spark reflection and to give you some insight into what it is like to be a reading teacher in a tested world----and I hope that it helped you to recognize that 'teamwork' feels a whole lot different when the members of the team are not judged equally.
As long as that message came across to one or two of you, then today's drama may have been worth it."
If you truly wanted people to "think differently" Bill, you would have continued the discussion, not cut it off. You raised some important issues, things that teacher/librarians need to consider. I wasn't looking for drama, just some purposeful interaction.
No one benefits from a closed conversation.
A Vital Instrument
A Thousand Small Gestures
A Partnership and Collaboration
"Silence" by boskizzi