4 Comments

I enjoyed your post. The hero trope seems to be a North American thing. Happily I haven’t come across that kind of talk, nor the idea that teachers are born, not made.

What I do see in Australia is a lot of institutional capture with uncritical acceptance of Departmental, Professional Development Training Provider, and university academic dogma amongst leaders and some teachers. People like Hattie are lionised and given enormous influence in shaping how schools work to improve outcomes.

Some teachers respond to this noise by trying hard and then becoming dispirited when they fail to meet the impossible and ever changing demands to make classrooms “democratic” and “student centred”. Others become uncritical “change champions” and share (very dodgy) evidence of their success. Unfortunately, because they share the same beliefs as leadership they are given all the airtime when it comes to discussion of how to operate in the classroom.

Expand full comment

I have heard far fewer teachers than you claim instructional capability via birthdate, but it doesn’t surprise me that some do. Students often look at others’ success, whether on the baseball field or in the math realm, and assume that their neighbor’s success is the result of gifts and talent. Sometimes the hard work is invisible, hidden away from their peers at home or in the gears grinding behind a stoic skull, but sometimes it’s wanting that to be the case: if skill is the product of purpose work, then subpar performance deliver the sting of personal failing. “I just wasn’t blessed with it” is a gentle shrug with a pat on the back for trying.

That aside, I lost your thread a bit in the last paragraph. It might just be my coming from a different era—born-from-spider-bite superheroes seem very different than constantly training, devoted-like-monks ninjas—or a typo, but I’d be curious to hear you clarify that bit. What are the tenants of this group think that you’ve seen? How is seeing teaching as a journey antithetical to your “teaching skill is cultivated” point? No obligation to respond—I see this is from a past iteration of you—but I’ve enjoyed reflecting after both your posts so I would be curious to know.

Happy Friday!

Expand full comment
author

Yes, you're right, I got off track in the last paragraph. Was referring to the trend for teachers to refer to themselves as Ninjas, and superheroes and rock stars; romanticizing it as a "journey". I suppose it is a journey but not one in which bad practices win the day each and every time.

Appreciate your comment. I will probably take this particular post down; not well thought through.

Expand full comment

I appreciate the insight. Thanks for coming back to it and replying. That angle makes sense. I’ve heard that superhero line before in media and broad announcements—“Teachers are superheroes!”—and the hyperbole always rings false.

Whether you pull it down or not, I look forward to thinking about whatever you share.

Expand full comment