As educators, and heck even as regular humans, we fight many battles on a daily basis.
Maybe it’s a battle with yourself.
with your spouse.
with your children.
with your heart.
Or maybe your battle is more with what is happening in education or your school/district itself.
One battle I’ve heard mentioned time and time again this year is the battle of scripted curriculum.
Now don’t mistake what I’m saying here. I think there is a place for a strong curriculum. It’s necessary. We can’t just leave everyone to their own devices. Just because you might be strong in your content or grade level, it doesn’t mean everyone is.
But where the issue comes is when an administrator, or district, mandates that as the teacher you MUST follow the scripted curriculum word for word.
You better be on the correct day in the scope and sequence when I do a walkthrough.
You better be in the right minute of the lesson when I peek through your door window.
There can’t be any altering of the curriculum.
That’s where I have an issue. And I know many of you do too.
Where your creativity is taken away. Where your VOICE is taken away. Where you are treated like a robot instead of an intelligent human being capable of making smart decisions on engaging and rigorous instruction.
So what do you do if you’re in that environment?
Well the first thing I would do is develop a plan. Gather your ideas and resources and schedule a meeting with your principal and a curriculum director or instructional coach.
Show them how what you want to add to the curriculum has depth in the standards and is even more engaging. Don’t make the curriculum the bad guy, but instead keep the focus of the conversation on how it could be improved!
Speak with knowledge and share research if needed!
What if you do that and it doesn’t work?
Yes, some districts don’t listen to their teachers. They don’t care if your idea is based in research and will help kids succeed, because they’ve paid good money for a curriculum that is also often based in some research.
If they won’t listen, and you keep trying, and nothing changes? It might be time to leave.
I hate to say that, but it’s true. Don’t just throw a fit right away and leave. Fight to have your voice heard and try and try again.
But if it becomes damaging to your own mental health and you feel like you just can’t be YOU as a teacher, there are other places that will celebrate who you are, if you’re willing to take the leap. You may face some rejection from some places, and it may require you to move or try a different grade level, but you also have to take care of YOU!
Keep fighting. Our kids deserve to have someone who will stand up for all of us.
I’m fighting alongside you.