Thursday, March 21, 2013

tips for teacher resurgence Idle No More style

1. If we are top down managed, we will grassroots lead.

2. If we are spoken to in corporate speak, we will front-line-teacher-talk-back in our own language.

3. If we are shown the factory model for school, we will invite into our living-breathing education circle.

4. If we are asked for curricular rationale we will share living curriculum through anecdote, narrative, and action research.

5. If standards assume low-level-thinking-feeling-living-knowing, we will talk back to standards.

6. If we are micro-managed, we will walk with vision, unity and action.

7. If we are not consulted in all things Education, we will calmly flex into our power as professionals.

8. If we are told to jump, sit and speak, we will de-mythologize and front-line-teacher-indigenize the words standards, accountability, and assessment.

9. If we are told there isn't money or permission for us to carry out our responsibility to students and community, we will keep pressing for a win-win solution.

10. If we are discouraged from activism because it's "political" we will remember our code of ethics, "To model the fulfilment of social and political responsibilities associated with membership in the community."

While following and participating in grass roots Idle No More, a lot of things have been gaining clarity, including my responsibilities as a teacher. While reading "Dueck makes case for greater teacher engagement in future" in the Saskatchewan Bulletin (Volune 79, Number 5, January 16, 2013) I began drafting "tips for teacher resurgence, Idle No More style".

I've shown them around. Andre and Michael helped me through preposition angst "I" or "we" and "them" or "you". I talked this through with Cathy, and she thought they looked good. Then I took them to my McDowell Foundation Board Meeting and met afterwards with Tish Karpa of the STF. She and I discussed the Saskatchewan Education Act, Code of Professional Competence, Teacher Code of Ethics, Carol Schick, Joel Westheimer and Joseph Kahne articles, Social Justice in BC, Backwards Design, Interdependency, case scenario optics, and being an engaged citizen, an engaged professional, and community activist.

I hadn't planned putting them on the blog before I figured out who the "we" was... but just today, as I read Dr. Mark Spooner and colleagues open letter, "Say No To Costly Standardized Testing", I thought it's time to add my voice to the "we" that is already out there.

I am searching for we.
I am seeking circles of engagement.
I am wanting to walk in a good way.

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