Push Me, Please

I Could Make It Alone, I Got All That I Need to Survive

I had an epiphany while reading Relentless by Hamish Brewer recently. As I put the finishing touches on my #BookSnaps of the quote below then saved and exited Snapchat, I realized it really grabbed me. Definitely. By the throat.

You might be wondering what part in particular grabbed me. Several things at first, all of which I wholeheartedly agree with, but then my brain zeroed in on “to close your door and just worry about your own results.” Yeah, part of me thought, shame on those people. Then another thought crowded in right after the first one with some pushback. Aren’t you “those” people? Am I? How? Okay, so you caught me. I talk to myself. It’s called reflection (that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it).

(All that I need to survive)

Just this past week I had some negative thoughts about a meeting I had to attend. The superintendents of my conference (a high school athletic conference consisting of 9 schools) decided in one of their meetings (better together after all) that our teachers should get together by subject/grade level, meet with Herman Blau, a fabulous consultant, and come up with common assessments. Yes, common assessments for 9 districts. Crazy, right? I had a lot of my own pushback toward that idea, and I had headed into the meeting fighting those negative feelings and trepidations, concentrating on the fact that I had ultimate respect and trust for the educational consultant running the show. He didn’t let me down. We English II teachers created two formative assessments based on one of our standards and a scoring guide. We did good work.

Through the sweat & the blood, I know what I’m made of

As I read Hamish’s words, I realized that my negativity toward that meeting had more to do with the shutting my door and worry about my own test results and less on the desire for all of our students to be successful. Part of my resistance to the idea of the meetings, if I’m honest, also had to do with the fact I’ve spent the past year researching and learning and applying that to help my students. So now I’d be told what to do? How to test? What to test? When to test? Wait for it. The epiphany has arrived. The test scores of my students are a collective effort within our buildings, sure. But isn’t it also a collective effort among all of our schools, districts, state and nation? World? Do we not gather together at conferences to become better as a whole? Had I forgotten what John Hattie discovered about collective teacher efficacy? Or did I just forget to care?

It’s the hunger that keeps me alive

So as I’ve learned to give and receive pushback in my own PLN, (yes, #4OCFpln, I mainly mean all you wonderful people) I discovered that I can now reflect to the degree of “self pushback.” It isn’t about me. I usually remember that, but there are times like this one, where I can be overly concerned with what’s “mine” and doing “my” thing, and those are the moments where I figuratively shut my classroom door to worry about my own test scores.

This time, I’m coming like a hurricane, this time

I’ve got to do better. We’ve got to do better. Our students, all of our students, depend on us doing just that.

Headings are partial lyrics from Skillet’s Undefeated.

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