News outlets across Canada have been cycling through the story of the Edmonton, Alberta high school science teacher who was suspended, supposedly because he was in violation of the district’s ‘no-zero’ policy. These stories almost always whip up the fervor and saliva-rich rantings of that element of society who advance the canon that everything we do now is ‘just plain wrong’!
As Alfie Kohn pointed out in his essay, Feel-Bad Education, there is an unfounded belief out there that children are lazy, unmotivated dullards who require a myriad Dickensian responses to make them learn: “More! You want more!
Without knowing him (and I apologize if I offend) but my feeling is that our colleague in Edmonton is no more a hero, as some have said, than a doctor who refuses to treat his patients- and then blames them for not getting better.
Public schools are places where adults who have been trained in child development, pedagogy and curriculum are given the job of helping children to learn. The teachers who reflect upon their practices, strive to adapt and grow and learn along with their students- they are the heroes. And we have many more of those teachers than we know- lets make sure we blog and tweet about them.