Grad school is a trip.
Everybody wants evidence. Sources. Citations. Quantitative. Qualitative.
Daily I’m bombarded with “how do you know?” , “where did you get this?” and my favorite “who else has said this?”. As you can imagine, anecdotal evidence nor my experience just isn’t enough. That’s my professional life though, so I expect it….
I get offended when, during informal conversations, parents and teachers ask my opinion and then quickly dismiss my suggestions.
It happened recently.
In their “Yeeeahhhh, butttt….” I could hear “Where’s your evidence?”, “Who else said this?”… “How do you know?”
Well this one’s for ya’ll:
I’m one of the luckiest ones I suspect; I have the good fortune of being both a parent and a teacher. Thirteen years in the classroom and sixteen years as a parent have made me something of a resident “expert”. According to Malcolm Gladwell in his book Outliers , 10000 hours is all that being an expert in virtually ANYTHING requires.
Hmmm….in terms of being a mother, I figure that’s 24 hours in a day X 365 days in a year – 65 days of summer and winter vacations away from him puts me at 7200 hours in a year. If I multiply that by 16 years that gives me 115,200 hours.
As far as my teaching goes: 6 hours/day multiplied by 160 (low estimate) school days in a year puts me at 960 hours a year. If I multiply that by 13, I get 12480 hours of teaching. That does NOT include summer school teaching OR my position as an adjunct faculty member.
So yeah. I’m an expert. Dagnabit. 🙂
The first two years are CRUCIAL for setting the tone. Much like the first two weeks of school. In both instances, the decisions you make (or don’t), the culture you create (or don’t), and the rapport you develop (or don’t) with the young’uns determine the next 9 months or 16 years. I’m not saying it’s impossible to establish balance, peace, and harmony later on, but understand the struggle that awaits…
And even when the foundation has been laid, no crystal stair spirals to greet thee.
I tire of us blaming the children.
I tire of the shock and awed adults who just “can’t understand” how this happened.
I tire of the blame being placed on teachers.
I tire of the blame being placed on parents.
Our children/students don’t really need us to be their friends.
Our children/students need us to be their parents and teachers.
Our children/students don’t really need us to be cool and hip.
Our children/students need us to be firm and consistent.
Our children/students don’t really need us to smother, shelter, and protect them from the real world.
Our children/students need us to equip them with the critical consciousness, spiritual/ethical/moral grounding, and emotional competence to navigate and negotiate the real world.
Our children/students don’t need to do as we say.
Our children/students need us to do as we say.
Salina (expert parent and teacher :))