Friday, June 01, 2007

It's been a while...

I look at my post from last September and wonder, "who is this guy?" Funny how foreign our own thoughts can be. I still agree with myself, so that's good.

It's May now, and I'm moving from my position as an English Teacher to a new job as a Curriculum and Staff Development Coordinator, which I refer to as going over to the dark side. I have a deep and unremitting belief in the importance of professional reflection and ongoing development for teachers, and yet also I recognize how universally ineffectual staff development activities seem to be in current schools. This is part and parcel of the also prevalent view that the modern high school is in some way obsolete. It's a big question, filled with ambiguity and complexity.

What does it mean to say that the modern high school is obsolete? Is it because those who make this claim have a belief that we're not preparing students for high end technical positions that require increasingly complex capacities in both technical skills as well as analytical insights? Do these folks who claim that education is ineffectual have any idea how unmotivated the students are? Our Governor, Tim Pawlenty, likes to make claims about how we need to increase the rigor of schools to ensure that students are prepared for the requirements of careers in todays economy; but he seems to have no idea how unlikely it is that simply adding rigor is going to be the students that I encounter on a daily basis are struggling to meet the modest expectations that I am presenting to them.

Ah, well....more later. I'm back, and hope to post regularly for a bit.

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