Non-Teachers Telling Teachers How to Teach

Non-teachers telling teachers how to teach. I just love that, don't you?  (this is sarcasm, just in case you weren't sure).  You know the type. The overpaid consultant that has never set foot in a classroom is going to tell you how to manage your classroom, engage your students, and be a world-class educator (not to mention wife of the year!).  The type that makes your blood pressure rise. Steadily. To the danger zone.

Someone who has never been trapped in a room of 32 six year olds is going to teach me about crowd control. Someone who has never sat through numerous meetings about state testing is going to tell me how to achieve mastery with my elementary kiddos. Someone who has never dealt with 15 cases of young love, in one day, is going to tell me about classroom management for middle school.
Okay.
I'm listening.
Tell me something that I haven't experienced, personally, at least a dozen times. Tell me something that really does work because you've tried it. Tell me something new about the importance of state testing (don't even get me started!).

Where do these people come from? And, more importantly... why are they hired as educational consultants by school districts that should know better?  My husband and I have a deal. He doesn't tell me how to be a teacher and I don't try to tell him his business. It works. I respect his expertise in his field and he respects mine. He doesn't try to mimic it or make fun of it. He understands that being a parent does not make you an educator.

Being an educator is a profession of tries, failures, and successes. It isn't textbook. It can't be taught. It is a feeling. A calling. What works one year, may not work next year (or even next hour). What I failed miserably to teach this year, may be my shining star next year. Who knows?  And, that's the beauty of it. You can't teach flexibility or going with your gut feelings.

I would love for all of those professional development meetings to actually be led by someone who is teaching or who has recently taught. I don't care if they have an impressive title. I want experience. Someone that can tell me what they are using or have used. Someone who can suggest ideas or tools that they know work. Someone who can relate. To me. To my reality.

Save those professional development dollars. Don't waste them on the overpaid, highly titled consultant that can't relate. Someone that has sold a book about techniques. I can't respect someone who is pretending to be what I have spent my whole life being. I can't respect someone who isn't willing or able to get into the trenches and work long, underpaid hours just for the joy of teaching. Spend those dollars on someone that shares my passion and my pride. Hire a teacher consultant teacher.



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1 comment

  1. I am a former teacher and one reason is what you've been saying in this post. I had only one administrator who understood the real problems facing teachers in the classroom. I agree about the professional development meetings. Many of them were just wishful thinking that did not work out in practice.

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