Educators Crying Wolf
Or, have they cried so much, that we have stopped listening to their unsubstantiated, self serving, cry’s for help?
Educators Crying Wolf: By Tom McDonald, 12/11/16
Do you remember aesop’s fable “The Boy Who Cried Wolf”? The version that was shared with me, as a child, had the boy ultimately getting eaten by the wolf, essentially as a result of the boy requiring unsubstantiated, self serving, narcissistic, attention. For the snowflake generation, in the current version, the ending has been dumbed-down, to placate those who don’t handle reality well and to dilute this very important message, because we don’t want to offend anyone, the readers, the boy, the mom, the wolf, or predators in general. I can’t remember, but the new politically correct version, that maligns none of the participants, might be called “the human who made pleasant sounds, because there was a self-actualized, individual situation, that was not concerning to those that didn’t want to be bothered from their self-fulfilling, texting activities.” But I digress.
For years we have been listening to traditional educators crying wolf. Their cry’s have been: give us more money; get the parents involved; fix poverty; reduce class size; force students to have more grit; better students emotional intelligence; better our buildings; fund our athletic programs; build an in school swimming pool, keep employee tenure; hang onto collective bargaining; better our alumni program, which brings in more money to fund the mediocre status quo; keep our lucrative benefit packages unchanged, we are entitled to that; don’t increase the school year, we have vacations to take and other jobs to perform; pay us more for essentially every little thing more we do, even though in the real world, those things are part of our salary, because, “WE”, collectively, perform the most important function there is, readying our children to be productive members of society. The message has been and continues to be, because the “problem” is all of these things, that need to be fixed first, before traditional educators can effectively, efficiently consistently, affordably and relevantly, fix our mediocre student success, performance improvement outcomes for ALL students.
Each time, we listened to/for the scream for help, we ran outside and we found there to be no wolf. The current unsubstantiated cry’s for help from the wolf prevail, BUT the problem still exists: the incumbent, one size fits all, 20th century, system of teaching mediocrity, for all students, remains. As does the resulting, dismal, mediocre, documented, student success, performance improvement outcomes.
Now we are at a key, critical crossroad. The boy hath screamed too much, so we will not be listening for the screams and if we hear them, we won’t be going outside. BUT, the boy continues to scream, but now we don’t react in a way that the boy desires.
We know that no-one, here, is going to be eaten by wolves, as a result of their unsubstantiated screams for help from an non-existent wolf threat.. But, there are and will be consequences for habitually crying unsubstantiated wolf.
Let’s remember that public education is funded by the public and it’s sole reason for existing is to empower ALL students, with effective, efficient, consistent, affordable, relevant student success, performance improvement outcomes, so each and every student becomes a productive member of society. We are getting mediocre student success outcomes and bloated costs, but the cries that there is a wolf, which doesn’t exist, remain.
As in all great fables, there is a lesson to be learned. That simple lesson is, that if you cry wolf enough, and there is no wolf, no one will listen to you seriously anymore and IF a wolf eventually does show up, you and only you are to blame for the unpleasant consequences that are a direct result of your prior actions. You can’t blame your Mom, you can’t blame the wolf. Maybe, if you survive the wolf attack and this is a stretch, it’s time to blame the neighborhood association for not properly gating the community? But I digress once again.
The consequences, as I see it, when traditional educators, habitually cry wolf, are four fold: (1) Student Success, performance improvement outcomes are not advanced, for all students; mediocrity prevails, at a bloated cost, (2) They have lost credibility as a professional and as an expert in their field, with the funding public, as well as with their students, (3) No one listens to them anymore, except their lathered up colleagues, who are travelling with them, in their sinking boat, up crap creek, without a paddle and (4) Because they perpetually and habitually cried wolf, as a diversionary tactic from the real problem of empowering ALL students with advanced, sustained success and they aggressively resisted, understanding and correctly implementing positive, research validated change, their gravy train, monopoly, is now at risk. This is what happens when the forest (strategic student success) can’t be seen from the trees (diversionary subsets of strategic student success). But they continue to cry wolf and suggest it’s everyone else’s fault that traditional educations outcomes are mediocre.
We, the funding public and the students MUST “call out” the cry’s legitimacy. We must require, each cry to substantiate their cry for help, with research proven documentation. WE must ensure that each and every cry for help is a valid cry for help and is strategically consistent with effectively, efficiently, consistently, affordably and relevantly advancing, measured, documented, student success, performance improvement outcomes, for ALL students, that directly and measurably benefits each student and society.
We collectively, should expect no less from our traditional education, public servants. The appropriate tools and research proven, brain based, methodologies are available. WE must require traditional educators to correctly implement, proven, educationally innovative methodologies, that measurably advance student success, performance improvement outcomes AND measurably document to us, with credible proactive, data their collective progress in doing so. We must also hold them accountable for not doing so.
Please share your thoughts as a citizen, who funds traditional education and/or a citizen who has a child, or children in the habitually mediocre, traditional education environment.
Are you okay with the empty, unsubstantiated, cries for help, that benefit the institution to the direct dis-advantage of the students they serve (your learners and our future stars)?
Do you agree that WE deserve bettered student success outcomes from our educators and that we deserve the facts ALWAYS, over self-serving, diversionary tactics?
IF every educator is empowering every student with educationally innovative software for learning, why does the research show otherwise?
- The Paradox of Classroom Technology: Despite Proliferation and Access, Students Not Using Technology for Learning