Standing Tall in an Age of Obsessive Accountability

Each of us is small, all by ourselves, but we are big, when we stick together.
—Deborah Wiles, Revolution

Sunny says it so well in Revolution, Deborah Wiles’s documentary novel about Freedom Summer. I’ve been in education for three decades (and counting) and have, at times, felt achingly small. Not so anymore.

As I’ve watched passionate teachers in their classrooms and encountered the revolutionary wisdom of educational professionals, I’ve begun to see I’m not alone, not really. I’m part of a great tradition, where everyday people do small things to affect big changes for generations of children. It’s this reality that makes me feel big. Scores of professionals (unknowingly) have contributed to my “bigness.”

I often feel small in the crushing world of accountability. This obsession with accountability puts the teachers I coach in a position to feel incredibly isolated and alone. Don’t get me wrong, I believe in accountability. But I don’t believe in a twisted system that pits teachers against teachers or teachers against numbers in columns on a spreadsheet.

"Image courtesy of KEXINO" http://kexino.com/

“Image courtesy of KEXINO” http://kexino.com/

Dedicated people—people who give everything they have for kids—do not belong on spreadsheets in colored columns and rows where they appear insignificant. These educators we love, who love our kids, belong in a place that’s large enough to celebrate their bigness.

I happen to think there is such a place. It’s here, right here, where the Internet can sing each teacher’s greatness. Here in this place, they’re not small, they’re not just educational professionals. They’re saints and heroes and world-changers.

So, no more feeling small. All of the brilliant minds I’ve learned (and continue to learn) from  have forged in me an assurance that together we can do all the hard bits of this magical thing called learning.

That’s the heart of this blog. It will be a great big loud, chaotic, sometimes messy celebration of all that makes us, as educators, stand a little taller. Stick around and journey with me, let’s stand together and add to our numbers.

Feeling small?
Don’t.
Join me. Here.

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