A provocative post by Andrea Hernandez has had my mind in a swirl for the last few days. Honestly, I think it is probably one of the more important posts I’ve read this year, and the issues that she begins to raise in this piece have been at the forefront of my mind since I began this little independent venture of mine.
Anyone who knows me will tell you that I worry too much. It’s my greatest flaw, and I’m pretty candid about that. Today, I’m worried about the economy, and I’m worried about the impending election, and I’m worried about my brother-in-law who has been deployed to Iraq, and I’m also worried that Laura is going to figure out that Santa does not exist this year. Or maybe she already has, but seriously? I am going to worry about that anyway.
Since I’ve started consulting independently, I’ve often worried about the teachers that I hope to help and the students that THEY hope to help. I’m particularly concerned about knowing enough, doing enough, helping…enough. I think everyone is worried in this way, actually, and I also think that this is a good thing. It’s so easy to become frustrated, particularly when we have this incredible vision…these worthy goals….and forces continue to align themselves in a way that complicates our achievement of them. Ironically, these forces often come in the shape of other well-intentioned people who have incredible vision and equally worthy goals of their own.
Andrea takes issue with “the experts” who continue to criticize the way that schools and teachers are doing business. “I am working pretty hard to bring real change to a real school and I’ve looked to you for answers, for ideas, help, a path to take, inspiration,” she says. “To me, your job seems easy – you stand on the outside and offer your critique.”
She’s right, you know.