Trends in Education: Changes can be Stressful

Raise your hand if you’ve heard these type of comments before?

Have you ever wondered why people think that the longer you teach, the less effective you are?

How many other professions work this way? Do you look at your accountant who has practiced 20 years as rigid or ineffective? Would you be willing to go to a surgeon who has performed surgeries for 20 years?

Many times I have noticed that these experienced teachers have already “experienced” the current latest-greatest-buzz-word trend. Their experience of already using program X has enabled them to incorporate the parts that worked into their teacher toolbox.
Experience tells you that a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in a brown paper bag and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich a ziplock bag is still a peanut butter and jelly sandwich --- they are just packaged differently.

When you are new in your career, the pendulum swings can be frightening. After a while, you will learn to add the good from each “new wave” to your teacher toolbox. While you may not teach with fidelity to one particular program, with time you will have a well-equipped toolbox that can fill in gaps and meet your students’ needs.

Has your school introduced some new program that is causing you anxiety and sleepless nights?  Find a veteran teacher at your school to discuss the new program.  I think you will find it helpful to talk to someone who has already used a program that is similar to the new repackaged program. 

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Hilary Lewis said...

This is so true! And one thing is for sure...I'm definitely not rigid or set in my ways...I drive my team crazy and they are all younger and have taught a way shorter amount of time. If I find out about something new and exciting, I am first to try it out. Thanks for the awesome post! I think I'll go make a PBJ...not sure why!
Have a great school year!
Hilary :)

HeidiSongs said...

This is so true! I also find that people seem to believe that anyone with twenty years of experience cannot use or understand technology effectively. And it's so not true, but seems to be completely believed at my school. It's very sad, and a waste of valuable resources.
Heidi Butkus

Keep em Thinking said...

Spot on! I never became right, instead looking at each new year as an opportunity to learn more and hone my craft!

Unknown said...

Sing it! So much about education is about the latest and greatest, and fixing things that are not broken. Just because a veteran teacher expresses a strong opinion doesn't mean he/she is rigid or inflexible. It might mean they've been through this scenario before and have some ideas and opinions about it. In my district, administrators preach evidence-based interventions to the teaching staff but then don't practice it when they making curriculum decisions. I love being the first to ask what research is behind this, why are we using it? It means I'm a thinker, not necessarily an old, rigid teacher!!