This is a mistake
Holding up a mirror can be excruciating. That is how last summer’s NAATE session functioned, case study after case study. This has to be a mistake. My disequilibrium mounted as the image reflected back at me through dialogue and case study analysis clashed with my self-perception.
Critical thinker I heatedly defended case study scenarios with teachers (I’m ashamed to admit) whose expectations for students were low. Why? They reminded my uncannily of myself. I resisted engaging voices critical of my approach to instruction and avoided opportunities to learn the why behind their skepticism.
Champion of education reform policies that address systemic inequity for children of color. Just how effective are my favorite reforms (more choice for parents, higher standards, stronger teacher development and evaluation systems, and replication of high performing charters committed to supporting families? Why have I not pursued the research in my zeal for these reforms? Why is it so difficult to find research peer-reviewed research on the mélange of reforms aimed at closing "the achievement gap"? What does it mean to have a coherent education reform agenda?
Proficient teacher leader. Last fall my network underwent major curricular changes. I took issue with the both the content and the implementation, but did not take my concerns to the top. My kids suffered for it. My kids see higher growth than their peers in district run schools, particularly ELLs every year. In my grade level at my campus this past year, my students made the most growth and achieved the highest proficiency. However, their state assessment results were lackluster. I struggled to own this after year of honest, hard work. My kids paid the price for my decision not to have that difficult conversation, my hesitancy to re-imagine what my instruction needed to be, and my fear of questioning the changes in my network.