21st Century Teacher Skill: Embracing Change

Alternately titled, “Buck Up, Sissypants!”

As I spend some quiet time on this Snow Day catching up on some computer work, I take a moment to reflect on all the issues swirling around my district’s educators right now.  While the entirety of this list may be unique to just me, I’m sure many of them affect you, too.  Among them:

1.  Trying to pass a $.49 increase in the Education Fund tax rate to make up for delinquent payments from the State.

2.  Planning iPad implementation at another school next year, and trying to figure out how to excite/involve teachers.

3.  Finding time to educate myself on edtech tools and trends so that I can pass on the best to my teachers.

At the heart of it all bubbles up this resentment – why should I have to work so hard to cajole other teachers into keeping current?  How is it my responsibility to motivate them into wanting to do better for kids?  Why is providing exemplary customer service a mantra for everyone else except teachers?  I think that when we interview teacher candidates, one of the most important questions we can ask them is, “Describe a time in your life when you had to stretch out of your comfort zone.  What was the issue, what was your response, and what did you take away from your experience?”

I find myself remembering an episode from ‘The Big Bang Theory’ where Leonard’s mom tells him to “Buck Up, Sissypants!”*  and I want to start off a staff meeting with this quote.  And just sit there for a good 10 seconds of silence.

But then I think that maybe I’m the one who needs to quit being a sissy pants and to “Buck Up.”  Baby steps, Matt, baby steps.

*Season 5, Episode 2


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