Sunday, April 09, 2006


I have to stop. I've been engaged in conversations about administrative control of technology, the role of teachers in it, etc. I got sucked in way too far, have been over my head more than once. Some enjoy the dialogue, the debate. I do as well, but only to a point. It is much more than a debate to me, it is what I believe and practice every day in my job. My philosophy guides every word I utter in my classroom. I am too close, care too much, believe too strongly, and want things to change too quickly - to debate anybody about it. I absolutely believe in what I am doing with technology in the classroom, that it is right, and that I am obligated to push forward. I believe that not doing so actually hurts my kids. Frustrated, discouraged, close to fits of rage and tears of anguish, I have to stop.

I've really had way enough of the assumption that teachers do not know what they are doing, do not know anything about technology, ought not to be trusted to make informed decisions, shouldn't need to be creative, should blindly follow edicts they know to be folly, etc.

I will retreat to what I have done for the past 12 years in April and May - running the largest educational activity on the Internet. I'll put in the 20 hour work days. In spite of my exhaustion, I will begin to feel good again about what I do, because I will be in touch with teachers, my peers. The teachers I will work with - from all over the world - will be thrilled for, excited about, and proud of their students. They get it. I am able to help them do that, and share in their joy. For that I am eternally grateful.

1 comment:

Wesley Fryer said...

Good luck with the Earth Day Bags project this year, Mark. I agree the debates in the blogosphere can be exhausting. It is good to have views challenged, this reminds us that we are not in an "echo chamber," but at the same time I think we want to (generally) walk away from experiences in the blogosphere further empowered, edified, and motivated rather than the opposite. Thanks for adding your voice to these discussions, and keep teaching with passion! (I am sure you will.) You are right: we need to trust teachers, to empower them to use their judgement and professional expertise to make the right decisions for kids, and to keep experimenting and see what will work for each child.