Conversations about NCLB

There is a post over at Tech Chick Tips about NCLB. The post points to other blogs that are having ongoing and thought-provoking conversations that discuss the good, bad, and ugly. Watch out – if you get started you will find it hard to stop. Wow – I’m still reading and every blog I read leads me to another one. I knew this was a hot button issue but I hadn’t really searched to find out what conversations were happening in the blogosphere.

I am not actually a teacher myself. I do tech support, electronic gradebook support, schedule the lab, and a pile of other things mostly dealing with computers, but I hear the conversations in the halls. I am in and out of classrooms and have actually uh… extended repair time on a computer so I could stay and listen because I was so enthralled. Those are the kind of classes I want for my kids. The classes that anyone could walk into and want to stay.

I once read a book called “Zen And The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance”. The main character in the book spends much of his life trying to define quality. Maybe the cycles and trends in education don’t matter as much as the quality of what happens in the classroom. I think that there are people who become teachers because there is nothing else they could do with their lives – they are born to it. You know the ones I am talking about – you may even be one yourself. If they were in any other profession they would still be teaching.

Years ago my kids were taking part in a youth service at our church and invited their teachers (who attended other churches) to come see them. Both teachers came and after the service I saw them in the parking lot. One was showing the other a cool new way she had learned to teach multiplication. That’s the kind of teacher I’m taking about. You don’t hear them complain much about any kind of changes in legislation – they just keep teaching. They don’t whine about having to go to staff development, they just show up and end up helping all the people around them.

I think most of the teachers blogging about NCLB are those kind of teachers. They are taking the time to “think through blogging” and educating everyone who reads their posts by challenging us to think and reflect as well. The questions shouldn’t be what is wrong with No Child Left Behind. They should be how can we fix it.

I  highly recommend dropping by and clicking through to some of the links and doing some reading.