Staying In Touch

“They have been out of the classroom too long.”

“They are out of touch with how it really is.”

“They should spend a day in my room and then try to tell me how to do my job.”

Sound familiar?  I fear I will become one of them, but communication has always been key for quality relationships and it’s what I hope will keep me “safe”.

“They have been out of the classroom too long.”

“They are out of touch with how it really is.”

“They should spend a day in my room and then try to tell me how to do my job.”

Sound familiar?  I fear I will become one of them, but communication has always been key for quality relationships and it’s what I hope will keep me “safe”.

It’s now been five months since I haven’t been a teacher of school-age students.  I qualify that because despite trying to share my knowledge and ideas with the adults in the building as the Technology Facilitator, I’m not nearly what I could be.  If you’re familiar with my other role (see Jekyll and Hyde From Testing), then it’s clear how my time is really spent.   Anyone who believes that testing only happens once at the end of the school is misguided and should proctor for me.  I need 12 proctors in two weeks!

We just finished one semester’s exams and already I’m working on the next Test o’ the Month. 

I’ve spent the past two days at work compiled accommodation data from three sources (IEP for our Exceptional Children, LEP plans for our English Learners, and 504 plans for our transitory impairment or other health-related conditions).  While kids met teachers for the new semester and spent time completing learning inventories in homeroom, I’ve rekindled my relationship with Microsoft Excel.  Oh, pivot tables, how I love thee.

So much time in front of my laptop, looking at “data” about kids and not actually helping the education of kids makes me worry that I will become of “those people” about which teachers complain.

I’m guilty of it.  I’ve accused our state educators of living in an ivory tower (although in Raleigh, it’s often to referred to as the Pink Palace for some reason).  I’ve joked about the empty swivel chairs in our state office when we’ve asked about support.   I’ve had conversations with our state consultants during professional development workshops and wondered why they were telling me how to do things that seemed so far removed from what worked with our “real” students.

Even this week, I heared colleagues say that people in our local office are “out of touch”.  Does this disconnection trickle down? Will it find its way to my room/office?  How do I not become someone who loses touch with the reality of what my teachers and our students need?

I realize that much of CTQ’s work focuses on teachers leading without leaving the classroom.  I often feel like Judas, someone who defected to the “other side”.

Yet, as I start to grow into and not hate my Testing role, I have to come to terms with the fact that I no longer educate students.  I subject them to standardized environments and try to make the mandates as painless as possible.  I now work in the business of education.  It’s not what I set my sights on in 2004 when I came to North Carolina to pursue teaching certification, but I hope that I bring a teacher’s perspective to the tasks I’m charged with and temper the demands with what’s best for my teachers and our students.

One of the ways I try to combat the disconnect between the classroom and the bureacracy is by staying tuned in to what my colleagues think, share, try, tweet, and blog.  My Professional Learning Network is more crucial than ever.  This and other forums permit me to keep a toe in the water, even as I have to stand ashore.  I hope it will be enough.


Laugh Out Loud Cats #1589 image licensed under Creative Commons Attribution, Non-Commerical, No Derivates license CC by NC-ND 2.0.  

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