Collaborative Planning?

The creator of this video has surely been hanging out in faculty rooms across America.  As we “rush to the top” Lake Wobegon-style,  there are those who believe we’ll get there sooner and in greater numbers if we dehumanize the process of teaching and learning.  I am not one of those people.  I think education is one of the muckiest and most complicated issues of our time.  And the most exciting.  Pacing guides, scripted lessons, computer-driven curriculum are signs we have detoured from the great promise of public education and the destination of our dearest hopes and dreams.

I get around.  I hear the grumbling.  I see the body language of teachers worn down by the system.  I hear the frustration of administrators whose interaction with teachers is reduced to checklists and charts.  I feel the burn of students stuck in chairs for hour after hour, working on edu-bits, while curiosity goes idle and creativity withers.

Teaching and learning should be about tapping the boundless imagination of every child, teacher, administrator, parent, and citizen as we completely reinvent our precious educational system.  Without it, we’re widgets going through a limited set of motions.  Boring, drab, mindless, and shameful.  We must do better.  Sorry – but you were warned; this blog is my soapbox.  Check out the other u-tube video by the same creator about focus walks. “Tragically hilarious,” wrote one teacher friend.

About Ruth Culham

RUTH CULHAM has written more than 40 books and best-selling resources illuminating both writing and the reading-writing connection for countless educators around the globe. Her groundbreaking work with the writing traits and writing from reading is the culmination of 40 years of research, practice, and passion. Ruth’s most recent books, The Writing Thief: Using Mentor Texts to Teach the Craft of Writing and Dream Wakers: Mentor Texts That Celebrate Latino Culture, are available from Stenhouse Publishers. She also conducts professional development for schools and districts and writes a regular column for The Reading Teacher.
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