Sunday, March 22, 2015

"Interview with a Teacher " Part 2 of the Blog Chronicles

The first installment is ready to go. Thanks to my good friend and teacher extraordinaire Patty for sharing her vision and her willingness to add to our understanding of how we can best work together.

How do you see a true multidisciplinary team functioning?
I see a true multidisciplinary team having a significant amount of time to plan daily. Team members have a common goal for the outcome and they plan together to get there. Team members share, collaborate, change, create, and laugh together. 

What message do you have for the powers that be (administration, DOE, elected officials, etc. Your choice).

For the powers that be, please know that I love the students. Their energy charges me up when I walk in the door. In an instant, however, that same energy can suck all life and patience out of me. It's a fine line that I balance every moment. When in balance, I am able to engage my students and stir up their interest and willingness to explore, try, learn, and smile. When "you guys" layer on testing requirements, data, mandated programs and the like, I tend to lose interest and my balance is shaken. Education has improved over my career in helping manage students' varied needs, resources, technology, and overall standards, however, I feel like my ability to be creative is being pushed into the corner. And no one puts baby in the corner.

What do you see as the most pressing issue impacting our students today? Why?
The most pressing issue impacting our students today is that there is not enough time in the day for everything to be done well. We - students, parents, teachers, colleagues - can fit it all in, but not well. School, homework, athletics, dance, instruments, clubs, family, exercise....students (and the adults in their lives) get pulled in so many directions. The students who are not pulled often don't have the parents at home who have the interest to pull but unfortunately that correlates to not having the interest to help with homework or basic human interests. And that's a whole other pressing issue...

What energizes you to come to work everyday? What keeps it "fresh" for you?
My students, colleagues, and professional obligation energize me to come to school everyday. I keep those fresh with exercise, sleep, professional discussions, not-so-professional discussions, and beer.

Describe your dream work environment? How does your dream compare with your reality?How can you make it a reality?
My dream work environment would involve small classes (12 kids maybe?... an even number please), larger classrooms with space for a large conference table, comfy seating and individual work space. All students would have a Mac book. Several white boards balanced with an equal number of windows around the room. A school day that started at 8:00 and ended at 4:00 Monday-Thursday. Homework would not exist except for reading. The massage therapist would come in each day and rotate around the room giving us all a shoulder massages. The physical trainer would stop in randomly for a 5 minute energy workout. After lunch we would have a 20 minute silent chill time for reading and/or meditating followed by a sing along/dance movement session. We would not have a foreign language, art, technology, music, or computer class. Those teachers would come in and work collaboratively with the classroom teacher throughout the week. Physical education would be @ 4:00 upon dismissal where all students were required to either join a team sport or participate in a school organized club activity (i.e. walking, snowshoeing, tennis, yoga). In my top drawer I would have a year's worth of fairy dust to sprinkle on students when they are struggling academically, socially, & emotionally).

Well, there you  have it! When do the interviews begin to work in your school, Patty?


  1. When Patty gets her own school or classroom, may I please join? Perfect Monday morning dreaming here...that absolutely should be reality!

    1. And the dream continues, because then we could work together!! What a team that would be.