A few of our What’s Right posts have included a message from author and national speaker Liz Jazwiec, a self-diagnosed “reformed low-performer” who challenges individuals to no longer support negativity in the workplace (see Connect with Cookies). A similar message was delivered in a blog from one teacher “A Teacher’s New Year’s Resolution: Brag More” (Education Week). Conlon writes:
Unfortunately, the negative stereotypes of teachers as professionals will prevail until we convince others that our job is about a lot more than low pay and summers off.
The night before the author found herself “making excuses and jokes” for her profession as a high school English teacher when among other professionals for drinks. This was in response to the “sympathetic shakes of their heads and a few patronizing quips.” It was not until returning to the classroom the following day that Conlon thought of alternative responses, for example:
I find myself wishing I could revisit… and tell… about Carlos, who shows up at my classroom door—more than an hour before school starts—to report a sighting of a vocabulary word on the 10 o’clock news. I would brag about Shauna, who read a Louisa May Alcott novel in a day, and about Roberto, who wants to start a student book club. If they would give me five more minutes, I could tell them about Kimone, who raps her poetry to applause from the class, and about Tiffany—with the nose ring and eyebrow piercing—who scored a perfect six on her timed essay test.
Liz Jazwiec’s message is that we support negativity in the workplace when we do nothing about it. The result is that our job is even tougher, we are unhappy at work, and our profession is viewed in a negative light (e.g., “sympathetic shakes of heads and patronizing quips”). There is a solution! Conlon writes:
I resolve to improve the image of my profession by bragging more. Focusing on the positives, I will share my stories with family, friends, and strangers. I challenge you to do the same.
Bravo, Ms. Conlon! We could not agree more and invite our readers to send their “what’s right” in education stories to Questions@StuderEducation.com to be included in our What’s Right in Education blog posts this year. Let’s work together to change the culture of education and make schools great places for teachers to teach, students to learn, and parents to send their children for an excellent education.
Conlon, Julie. (01.02.2013). a Teacher’s New Year’s Resolution: Brag More. Education Week published online here.
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