Courageous Conversations...Now in Beta!

Can we talk about race?
No.
Why not?
Our district's commitment to diversity training as part of our professional development agenda is sufficient.
Please...can we talk about race?
Talking about race only incites racial tension. I'm sure you can understand this.
But not talking about it fosters the same tension and even worse, keeps it bottled up, percolating like lava.
Volcano eruptions are rare; especially in this suburban community in Southeastern Pennsylvania, but I thoroughly enjoyed your use of simile. Are you an English teacher?
Yes, but I am also the Tech Coach for the Classrooms for the Future grant.
What's a Tech Coach?
I work as an instructional specialist, coaching teachers to develop lessons that integrate technology in meaningful ways, aligned to state standards, to increase student achievement and help them develop 21st Century skills.
Can we talk about what it's like coaching teachers to get them to re-evaluate and re-vision their pedagogical and methodological approaches?
No.
Why not?
Can we talk about race?
No.
Seems like we're at an impasse.
Perhaps we can blog at this.
At a diversity training workshop.

Views: 19

Comment by kenrodoff on June 7, 2007 at 10:13am
Thanks for directing me to the post you mentioned. In truth, when I wrote this entry, I had just left a faculty meeting.

What I find most confounding about faculty meetings is the sheer amount of brain power against the meager output.

Our district has seen a 100% increase in its minority population in the last ten years. Our state test scores have dropped.

Near the end of the meeting, a teacher brought up a recent episode of 'Ophrah' and relayed the story of three African-American teachers who challeneged their African-American students to "wake up" and start achieving because their test scores indicated that ESL students were outperforming them.

I perked up. It was about to happen! A courageous conversation about perception and performance.

When another teacher asked saracastically, "You watch 'Oprah?" the meeting ended.

I have worked as a Tech Coach for three months. I have extended olive branches and released countless peace doves in the hopes of fostering a collegial relationship with my fellow teachers. I want to share the passion I have for new learning tools, web2.0, and even a well-delivered teacher-led lesson.

But I have found a community of mutes. They remain silent, unmoved, mimeographed.

What are they avoiding? What are they clinging to? And are their handouts really still full of purple text???
Comment by Connie Weber on June 13, 2007 at 6:11am
I know what you mean. Here are some ideas to consider:
Broaden your network; CR2.0 can really help. And also, find a group at school that wants to talk. Have informal meetings with those colleagues, strictly by choice, over thoughtful articles and good food. Lots of things can be talked about if you adjust the context.
Comment by kenrodoff on June 13, 2007 at 10:28am
Thanks for the feedback. There are 65 teachers on staff here at my high school and to date, four have demonstrated an interest in "Teaching2.0".

Funny: I just spoke to a teacher who just finished a three hour workshop. The teacher running the workshop was quite livid because over half of the teachers complained that there was no food provided.

However, I agree that food service is important. Any way to continue America's increasing girth!

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