Tuesday, September 25, 2012

"Sounds loco to me, but okay."

I'm borrowing a quotation from one of my favorite books of all time, Cowboy & Octopus.   Jon Scieszka's created a wonderful friendship between an unlikely pair.   In addition to the earth and water divide, Octopus finds himself having to be the brains of this operation again and again.   But even Cowboy knows when somethin' ain't right.

Do you ever get that feeling?   That feeling that someone has put lipstick on a pig and is trying to get one over on you like you can't smell pork from a mile away?   Makes you a little loco, doesn't it?   When someone's trying to get one over on you, it's really your students who pay the price...and that makes little wisps of steam escape from your nostrils, doesn't it?

Well, take a step back from it and pause.   Why do you think it's a bad idea?   Do you have evidence that it is from research or personal experience?   Who are the stakeholders who came up with the stinker?   Who are the stakeholders who must implement it?   Could it be a good idea after all?   Is it worth a try?   Have other schools/ teachers tried this plan to great success?   If so, does your school have the resources and staff to make similar gains?   Will children be harmed because of this idea?   Do you have a better proposal?   Is part of the idea worth piloting, instead of the whole enchilada?   Can you find someone in your field that you respect to talk this over with?   Is this a battle that you need to choose for the sake of your students, or will your time be better spent on something else?  

And if you've decided that it's a good idea that will benefit children, be the first to get behind it and help others implement the plan.   There's nothing better than discovering a new, effective way to reach learners.

We're all resistant to change once we've found methodologies that seem to work miracles for our children.   We're also a little prickly when people outside of the classroom claim to have the magic answer for us.   I always fall back on WWLD, as in What Would Laura Robb do?  

I think that it's always good to let our minds entertain a new approach to reaching our children, but every now an then someone comes up with something that can only be described as "loco."   And that's not okay.

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