“Hubris, thy name is Teacher”

teach1The quote was something like that, anyway. I didn’t actually pay attention in junior english due to having a drunk teacher that didn’t like me much. (Apparently she thought that I was a bit of a smartass – can you believe it?!)

Last week the teachers we sent to the Professional Learning Communities Conference shared with us the “new direction” that our school is planning on taking. I put it in dubious quotation marks because I used to work in an environmental center where this idea of sharing which strategies worked and which didn’t isn’t so much new as standard operating procedure.

The thing that surprised me the most was the amount of sighing, hair-tossing, heel-drumming, breath-holding tantrums among the teachers when they were informed of the new plan. You would have thought that these people invented the subject that they teach and couldn’t possibly benefit from learning a new method or sharing their insights with other teachers. One teacher actually said, “I’m too old to learn something completely new.”

I understand that hubris isn’t the sole province of teachers, but man we’ve got it down pat! If I wasn’t worried that some of them would stroke out right there on the tile floor, I would love to remind them that they are “just public school teachers” and that their job is to do what they’re told!

Can you imagine? Professionals being asked to participate in a community of professionals, trading techniques and results with each other to improve the field? I mean, what do these people think we are? Doctors? Lawyers? Engineers? We’re just teachers, for crying out loud! We do this because “those that can’t….” and we get summer vacation!

Does anyone else see the disconnect here?


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