My daughter is a senior at a University in North Carolina and in her last two semesters before graduating to become a TEACHER! Yes, I am proud and have known since she was little that she would make a passionate, committed teacher. Well, she called me the other day mad as a hornet because she was asked to be part of the “status quo” for a lesson she was planning.
Let me explain: She goes to a 3rd grade classroom three days a week this semester to teach and has a wonderful mentor teacher who is guiding her in her dream of teaching. My daughter planned a lesson around a book about being different the students were reading, got rave reviews from the classroom teacher (her mentor), and was then observed by the University professor. The lesson needed to be more in line with what all the other future teachers were doing (there are several at this school)- the lesson was too “radical”. There’s that word again. The professor was suggesting “status quo.” My daughter’s heart is for those kids in poverty, either rural or urban, and she understands the need for “real life” lessons. She understands these kids need to be taught about diversity, empowerment, and making a difference in the world. She teaches with love, respect, and compassion and knows that students will respond to that and will be able to change the culture of bullying to one of respect. It’s not about being able to answer a multiple choice test about the vocabulary of bullying. It’s living it out – real life.
So, I sent my daughter this great article by Sabrina Stevens Shupe – which of course appeared in Twitter right when I needed it – and told her to send it to her professor. Among other things, Ms. Shupe suggests that you might be a radical if…
I apologized to my daughter when I sent her this article: I was more worried about her portfolio than I was for her passion. I told her to never compromise her passion and that the most important question to always ask yourself after a lesson is – Did the students learn?