- Neville Chamberlain
Some days the changes swirling around education feel a bit like heading off into war. We are bombarded by information - and misinformation - on a daily basis from both educators and non-educators alike. Tensions are high and education has fallen into the “do not discuss” list of categories along with religion and politics if we are to maintain personal relationships.
It doesn’t have to be that way. When we take a measured step back - we all want the same thing: well-educated students who will find their place in the world equipped with knowledge and skills to handle whatever the world may throw at them and be successful, whatever that might look like. It is difficult to keep that vision in front of us when we disagree with the change or feel the change might threaten our status quo. Change is easy, change is hard.
The “Norms for Effective Collaboration” have been a hallmark of our work in the region for the last two years
and ones that we hope to model with the re-launch of this blog. By focusing on the bright spots in regional classrooms, clearing up misconceptions that arise and sharing research about the work being done we hope to promote a spirit of inquiry and balance advocacy. Regional teachers and leaders are encouraged to share their stories, their questions - whether by posting a comment or by stepping in to write a post. Ideas will be put on the table- ours and others - with the intent of promoting discourse and learning. We will presume positive intentions and hope that you (dear Reader) will as well.
That being said, we think it only fair to let you know that in the spirit of what Berkowicz and Myers call “communal discourse” the comments on this blog will be moderated. Most, if not all, comments will be posted and we encourage those who have questions or other experiences to respond (keeping the norms of collaboration in mind). But comments that contain hostility or personal attacks will not be entertained or published. We want to promote positive change, not add to the noise around it.
We look forward to the conversation.
Theresa Gray is the Coordinator of the Integrated Education Services (IES) at Erie 2-Chautauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES.