I hope someday I am proved wrong about this, but on bad days I tend to fall into that dark, depressing mindset that there are some educators who “get” it (meaning, they understand fundamental concepts about teaching and learning that cannot be denied) and some educators that don’t, and that it may not be worth it to keep fighting the great fight, and I should just pack up my desk and my books and get that job as a barista that I’ve longed to pursue every five or so years. Then I eat half a bag of salt & vinegar chips and down a glass of wine and my outlook improves considerably. But still…
…in case you were wondering what side of the fence you’re on, here are 10 Telltale Signs You Just Don’t Get It:
1. You keep looking for that literacy program or method that will cause all children to progress in their development regardless of their differences (i.e., you keep searching for that “one size fits all” panacea).
2. You’d rather not devote class time to having students independently read books of their choosing because “they can do that at home.”
3. You spend a lot of your prep time gathering materials and copying worksheets.
4. Your students know their so-called reading level, their NWEA RIT score, or their class rank.
5. You teach literacy, but have not read one book that is featured on any of the 2013, 2012, or 2011 Nerdies Book Awards Lists.
6. You teach writing, but don’t write (unless you absolutely HAVE to).
7. You don’t consider yourself a reader because you “only read magazines.”
8. You currently have, in your possession, any of the following graphic organizers: the “hamburger” essay, the opinion “map,” or this [FULL DISCLOSURE: I used to teach essays using the hamburger organizer. Then, when my 110 students turned in 110 crappy essays, I stopped using it.)
9. Since your district has adopted the CCSS, you subconsciously categorize all texts as either narrative, informational/explanatory, or “opinion.”
10. You spend more time teaching your struggling readers skills and strategies than you do having conversations with them about what engages or interests them.