Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Unpleasant realities from your friend . . . in theory

By "The Guest Teacher" LaRon Carter

Our students suffer from your insecurities, your lack of integrity, and your lacking courage to fight for what’s right when the odds are stacked against you.

That tone in a message is far beyond the norm of what one professional tells another let alone sends in an email, even if you’re thinking it. And that shoe tends to never slip onto the other foot. But what if we were to embrace a reality that far too many of our students are not succeeding?

Would you be willing to accept accountability for your student’s failures more easily if it were a team effort – If it were written to address behavioral flaws instead of a character issue? How would you rewrite the introduction of this article to communicate a vested interest without all the finger pointing or being so controversial?

The revisions might sound something like this: Students are suffering from our weaknesses that have turned us into the very bullies we once ran from. Our students suffer from our inability to overcome the very fears that hold them back from dreaming bigger. Reality is many of our students are living below the principles needed to succeed because we are not modeling the excellence they need to see daily. And most of all not one valuable life lesson has been taught from our inability to take on those difficult problems no one else wants to deal with. We have all failed as a team and we will win as a team.

Sounds better, right? But more importantly how do you plan to contribute in solving our problems now that we are all part of the same team?

[No reverting allowed, true reform only.]

Stay focused, stay confident, and play on the other side of theory.

LaRon Carter is a K12 education behavioral strategist and author of Stop Crying in the Restroom [it ain’t that deep]: A Guide to Your Best Year Teaching With Smart K12 Goal Setting Methods. Follow Carter “The Guest Teacher” @laroncarter on Twitter.

1 comment:

  1. Hello,

    I am a student in EDM 310 at the University of South Alabama. If I received a message similar to the introduction, I would feel very discouraged. The message was not professional at all, and no one likes to be singled out. That puts a lot of pressure on the individual. Perhaps in my mind I was doing all that I could to try to foster a caring, encouraging environment for my students.

    On the other hand, if the message was written as if it were a team effort I think it may be easier to accept accountability. There's a saying that there is strength in numbers. So, if there is a problem, I think it would be easier to address it as a team. I foresee more than one person benefiting from that situation. And if we all set similar goals, we know what to expect and how to help one another make corrections if we get off-track.