Sorry for the rant, but here goes…
We have a problem in education. It’s called “edusnobbery.”
Edusnobbery is why so many non-educators have a problem with teachers. With professors. With administrators. There are a lot of people outside of education who feel that academic-types look down their noses at non-academic types.
Edusnobbery is what sometimes happens to really good people with good intentions, who start accumulating letters behind their names, and all of a sudden… they know stuff. And they want you to know how much stuff they know.
In fact, they’re so pleased with themselves about how much they know, they choose to ridicule you for not knowing what they already know… even if you’re just now learning. (What is that we always say about kids? Something about how we shouldn’t assume everyone learns at the same pace? Hmmm…)
Edusnobs become “above” everything. If they don’t like something, they dismiss it as not worth their time. It’s silly, or pointless. If they don’t get their way, they start lashing out at people who try to do good things.
I know edusnobs… because I am a recovering edusnob.
Cynical. Negative. Angry at the world, because they didn’t see what I saw. They didn’t know what I knew. And holy cow, haven’t we been talking about Topic A or Topic B for the last 10 years… isn’t it time we do something about it? COME ON!!!
And then I realized how cynical I had become. How negative. How angry. Did it make a change in education for the better? Nope. Not one bit. All it did was hurt me… physically, emotionally, socially. Friends started staying away. My family tiptoed around me and looked at me like I was damaged.
Because I was.
So… I quit a “more prestigious” job in education, went back to the classroom (and back to the dismal teacher pay) and sat around with kids. You can’t be a cynic (or negative/angry) around kids, unless you want to damage them, too.
And you know what? Wow, did my life improve! Yes, yes… I still have occasional relapses. I become upset when I feel that true educational reform– doing what is best for ALL kids– isn’t moving along quickly enough. Or when someone doesn’t understand why ranking and sorting kids is harmful to kids. I’m only human.
But… I think I have made a bigger impact as an educator who is positive and shares the positive things about what I’m doing. What my students are doing. Who doesn’t want to read about kids who are excited about learning?
We celebrate the good things, and we work hard to change the things that stand in our way of the good things.
I propose we all take a good hard look at how we’re approaching change and making a difference for the kids. I’m pretty sure that doesn’t involve mocking those who DO try their best to do good things… even if their aim is a little off.
So, Edusnobs, are you going to continue to knock down the people who are trying to do good things… even when you don’t think those things hold much value?
Because I’ll tell you what. You’re not as powerful as you think you are. You just sound cranky, like that old guy shouting at kids, ”get off my lawn!”
And you know what happens to that guy… he goes back into his house, alone. Cynical. Negative. Angry. But mostly alone.
Thanks for stopping by.