Sunday, October 17, 2010

REBELS Day!?!??!! Ideas for Positive Educational Reform

Today, Sunday, October 17th, has been named "REBELS" day by blogger Tom Whitby.

REBELS stands for Reforms from Educational Bloggers Links of Educational Suggestions... A day for teachers/ bloggers to share ideas for positive educational reform.

A great idea. And I'm jumping on board.

Here are some of my ideas for Positive Educational Reform (although slightly uncreative in list format):

1. Pay teachers based on merit. What? NO!  Pay teachers based on a different kind of scale.  How many trainings did you receive that year?  How many educational books did you read?  How often did you participate in a collaborative group?  How often did you volunteer to lead a committee or facilitate a group discussion?  Were you willing to participate in PSO (Parent-School Organization) or PTA activities?  Did you make yourself available to parents via phone, email, text message, twitter, blogging, a website?  Did you integrate technology this year?  How? For what purpose?  WHAT IF WE WERE PAID BASED ON OUR DESIRE TO LEARN? OUR DESIRE TO PARTICIPATE IN OUR SCHOOL COMMUNITY?  HELPING OURSELVES LEARN WHILE HELPING OUR STUDENTS LEARN?

2. Inclusion. Real inclusion. Not the theory or the "idea" but actual INCLUSION.  INCLUDE every student because ALL students can learn.  Real Inclusion should include at least TWO teachers in the classroom!!!  Co-teaching, co-planning, co-workers!  Two heads are better than one when it comes to finding the best ways for students to learn.

3.  Teach EVERY teacher to DIFFERENTIATE. Again, because ALL students can learn and it shouldn't be the job of JUST the special ed. teacher to figure out how to teach ALL students.

4. Initiatives starting from the GROUND UP.  Teachers and aides are the ones in the classrooms yet mandates come from those people who spend the day in offices on the hill.  Why not ask a teacher?

5. Formative Assessments.  USE your assessment to DRIVE your instruction.

Those are my ideas for positive educational reform.  Simple list but incredibly complicated to complete.

But as a teacher, I just have hope.

Yes, there's teacher bashing. Yes, there's union bashing.  Yes, I get emails from parents who don't trust me or who question my teaching methods or who question everything that is done in my classroom.

But I have hope.  For my students.

Last 2 ideas for Positive Educational Reform:

* Have hope, for every student.

* Get your passion back.  Be passionate about learning.


Michael Russo said...


Your comment about paying teachers based on how/what they learn or participate in is a very interesting one to me, one I had not considered. I'm wary of merit pay based on student results, but merit pay based on active learning/leading - that could turn some heads. Thanks for sharing.


Morgan said...

Thanks for your comment Michael. I'm VERY wary of merit pay based on student results; in fact, I am very AGAINST it. There are way too many variables.

But what about our own learning/leading?

What about stepping outside the box?

What about using something other than a worksheet to assess?

Worth thinking about (and not entirely my idea, but a thought shared by a colleague of mine).