alfie kohn, being a teacher, education reform, Student-centered

We Say And Yet

We say we don’t want to be micromanaged as teachers and yet then we do it to our students.

We say we want democratic schools, where our voices are heard, and yet we rule our students with an iron fist.

We say we are working as hard as we can and that merit pay will not boost our dedication or our effort, and yet we dangle grades in front of our students to try to incentivize them.

We say we work too many hours as teachers without getting paid for it and yet we assign hours of homework to our students.

We say our voices are not being heard in the educational debate yet we do not listen to the voice of our students.

We say we want to be invited into the educational policy decisions being made and yet we do not invite parents and students into our own decisions.

We say that we want freedom to teach and yet we allow little freedom to our students in learning.

We say we want to teach in our own way, infused with our passion, and yet we expect students to all learn the same way.

We say that we need to time to teach and to learn all of these new things being thrust at us and yet we expect our students to all find the time and to master it at the same time.

We say we want to be respected as individual teachers and yet we show little respect to our students as individuals, expecting them to fit into whatever we have decided the perfect student should be.

We wonder why our students are losing interest in schools and never stop to look at what we do to them.  Education should not be done to them, it should happen with them.  Give back your classroom to your students; give them a voice.

10 thoughts on “We Say And Yet”

  1. Not only do we do this to our students, but many people who are experts in their own fields,are not mindful of the other learners/colleauges on their own journeys."We say and yet" is a powerful start for some courageous conversations.

  2. This is powerful! Many of these thoughts flood my mind constantly. Education should be their experience and by allowing that we can make amazing growth as educators. Their voice is extremely important in the process of reforming our own classroom and personal practice.

  3. This is a powerful post that for many will encourage a defensive stance from those who are unwilling to pause and reflect upon their own practices because it's always easier to blame others.

  4. I do not know what you all are talking about. Are we always the guilty ones? You do not have any respect for many hardworking professionals all around the globe! Do not generalize!

  5. No we are absolutely not always the guilty ones but it is always a lot easier to look at our actions rather than those we cannot control. Interesting how most anonymous comments are always negative and with many exclamation points. And I am pretty sure you know nothing about the respect I have for people, thanks for the comment.

  6. Sorry for exclamation points!!! Why am I negative? Yes, you are definitely right when saying that we should first look into our own yard – everyone is supposed to act like that! But, we should than be very careful not to slip into the trap I was ref to.Teacher is at the end of the food chain, isn't she?Sorry for the respect remark. I din;t mean to offend you. Anyway, there are numerous good people in teaching profession who work hard day and night feeling like Mohicans :)))))) We are waiting for the last one.

  7. I appreciate you coming back and leaving another comment. This post was definitely meant as a conversation starter and not an attack. Unfortunately there are many teachers or people in education that do run their classrooms like this, even though some do not.

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