The Blame Game!


I can totally identify with Chris Lehman’s post last week on his blog, Practical Theory. At times I have been guilty of putting too much blame on individual teachers for failing to innovate their teaching pedagogies and adopt current cultural technology tools. (Check out for more great satirical posters like the one presented here!) I still feel that part of ‘being a teacher’ is being a learner and continually looking for ways to keep fresh and identify with his/her audience in powerful ways. There is certainly no excuse for avoiding personal and professional growth. However, Chris brings a great balanced perspective to this dilemma, as there are powerful systems in play that more than not discourage innovation and ‘outside-of-the-box’ thinking. In many cases, technology aside, we have been struggling to achieve basic reforms of pedagogy that have been laid down by the ‘greats’… Dewey, Vygostky, Bruner, Gardner to name a few. If is very hard to ‘buck the system’ in K-12 education. Teachers are overwhelmed with everything on their plates and have little time to think outside of the box. For those critics who always say that teachers are overpaid, work only 8 hr. days for only 180-200 days a year, have great benefits,.. well, live just a day in their shoes. Sure, there are some teachers out there who shouldn’t be in the classroom any more as they have lost their ‘fire’ for learning and teaching. But their are folks like that in every discipline and profession. Most teachers that I have known and worked with have been the most dedicated folks I have ever known.

I am not making excuses for failure to innovate, as many teachers continue to do just that in spite of the systems that they work under, or as a result of fantastic building principals and district administrators who have vision, are not afraid to take risks, who support teachers and create learning climates that encourage innovation,…

So, hats off to all of the terrific teachers out there who buck the system every day, who turn their classroom lights on every morning to try again, who seek to grow at every opportunity, who de-escalate volatile situations, humanize and bring dignity to every child who crosses their path (Hiam Ginot) – hats off to you! Start a blog to share your experiences with the world 🙂 Upload some photos to VoiceThread and continue the conversation, create motivating and inspiring montages with RockYou or MixerCast. Start a wiki with a colleague on some area of common professional interest. Find a classroom outside of your state, country, or continent to collaborate with using Epals. These are some fairly easy things to do to begin connecting with your students and colleagues in new ways.

See also:

Explore posts in the same categories: administration, Blogging, Change, collaboration, communication, conflict, culture, Learning, pedagogy, teaching, time

2 Comments on “The Blame Game!”

  1. Tracy Rosen Says:

    Steve – what a fabulous, inspiring post!

    I like that it begins to elucidate the complexity that teaching really is. There are so many elements in interplay that need to be there for s teacher to be a master teacher who reaches as many students as she or he can in ways that are relevant for everyone – including the teacher!

    learning theories
    professional development

    The next time you hear someone praise the simple, vacation filled, life of a teacher, you may want to refer them to Taylor Mali’s ‘What does a Teacher Make’? I love it 🙂

  2. Steve Ransom Says:

    Great video. Thanks for including the link here, Tracy. A ‘master teacher’ is certainly a lifelong endeavor, isn’t it!!

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