Thursday, April 24, 2008

from noble to professional

Sometimes, I feel that Dan Meyer, a coast away, is hovering around my building. And then, with Legolas accuracy, he delivers an opinion that seems to confirm my aforementioned assertion about his omnipresence:
I aim at professional work in a job which doesn't demand professionalism. Daily, I leap at and sometimes clear a bar which exists only in my head, in the work ethic I have self-imposed, a bar which in reality hovers shin high. Can I tell you: the friction between what my job asks of me and what I ask of myself is spectacular.
A great many conversations over the past few days have dealt with curriculum development, professional responsibility, and inevitably, ego. Off the charts, running amok ego.

Nothing brings out the notion of 'surreptitious autonomy' than an administration promoting a standards-based, aligned curriculum upon its staff.

I like Dan's innate and explicit belief that teachers should push themselves into a 'professional' realm of instruction that mirrors the rest of the working world.

Additionally, I surely don't have a problem recognizing that this job...

1. Is a profession; and therefore, we should honor the notion of 'professionalism', not 'nobility'.
2. Makes us employees, governed by employers, and they can demand quality work, conduct, etc...

I think too many of us forget the second point.

Sure, you can close your classroom door, but you're still bound by a professional hierarchy.


Taylor said...

What would be the consequence of submitting myself to this "professional hierarchy" in a school like mine?

Just asking, because principals have entirely too much power already, in my view.

Ken Rodoff said...

No denying that there are people in every sort of position who abuse 'power' / 'authority'.

And my answer to your question is...


I'm sure you can find another school where the admin isn't nightmarishly manipulative.

Don't let the bastards grind you down.