I’ve accepted the challenge by Sue Bruyns…
Let’s stop pretending:
1. That kids misbehave because they want attention, their own way, to manipulate us, because they are unmotivated (lazy), have a bad attitude, a mental illness, a sibling who was the same way, incompetent parent(s) or because they are making bad choices. I know I’m guilty of saying at least three or even four of the above list and it’s not really about that. Kids will do well if they can. Most of the time these misbehaving students have lagging skills. For more information on this, I highly recommend Ross Green’s “Lost at School”
Behind every challenging behaviour is an unsolved problem and lagging skill.
2. That Instructional Coaches are “experts”. Working with an Instructional Coach is a partnership. We co-plan, co-teach, and I don’t mean to be cliché, but we do in fact co-learn. My job is to help you find your best next step and what is going to make an impact on student learning in your classroom. I’m not going to swoop in and tell you what to do or hand you a new resource that’s going to make life easier. We’re going to figure it out together and sometimes that involves us making mistakes together. I’m lucky to work with teachers who understand this. Just yesterday a teacher and I sat together and mucked around in Google My Maps – we figured it out and brainstormed some great ideas. I co-taught a lesson involving inquiry learning. I sat at a table with teachers learning how to use Chromebooks. In each of these instances, I also learned something new. While I do get to attend PD from time to time, I would say that a majority of my learning comes from my work with teachers.
3. That teachers don’t have the biggest impact on their students. I’m still floored when I am working with a teacher who does not realize that they can have the biggest impact on student learning. That’s why what teachers choose to do matters and that’s why it’s so important to be intentional about it. Let’s stop pretending that student ability depends on whether or not the child studies, does their homework, have home supports or pays attention. The teacher has a bigger impact on the student than any of that.
4. That because students are compliant that they are engaged. There’s a big difference. Some of us (ahem, including me) are control freaks. Inquiry and students having input on learning in the classroom is messy – and loud. We all need to let go a bit. I promise you might even get goosebumps.
5. That French Immersion programs are only for “strong” students. It’s not private school, it’s not elitist, it’s a program choice. Many of the difficulties students experience (not all) would occur in an English school too. It’s not the French Immersion teacher’s job to “weed out” students that misbehave or are struggling.
I challenge some of my #fslchat colleagues… Dawn Telfer, Maddalena Shipton, Bruce Emmerton, Myriah Mallette and Rochelle Rogg to name a few… any #fslchatters actually… to write their own post on the same topic.