Happy Teacher Appreciation Week

In the video below an elementary student says: “without teachers there would be no learning…”

I realize this and thousands of other videos like it mean well, but that is *NOT* a growth mindset.

Putting aside for a moment how patronizing a “day/week to honor teachers” is, putting aside how “appreciation” could take a concrete form like a living wage or a truly middle-class income, let’s talk about learning.

My goal each day is put interesting connections in front of my students. These connections seek to bridge their interests to the thriving, teeming, infinite world that is real scientific discovery and exploration.

To say that you can’t learn anything without a teacher, puts the teacher in the driver’s seat, and lets the learner off the hook. The world is a smorgasbord of interesting, amazing, even contradictory things. Do I make you eat? Don’t you need to eat? If by the end of high school you haven’t taught yourself how to eat, or learned how to cook, say, then who has failed? Is it me? Is it you (the learner)?

So I love the sentiment, but the ramifications are pure drivel, “that wasn’t a good class because the teacher was no good”. That’s not a growth mindset. “I couldn’t figure out how to connect my learning style with that teacher’s teaching style.” Is only slightly better. “That teacher helped me dynamite the walls of ignorance and apathy and fear that I had towards that subject, and I will go on to storm even bigger castles of misinformation, doubt, and mystery in the future.”

If that attitude is what I teach and model. If that is what is more important than valence electrons, or impulse momentum theorem, or the scientific method, then yes, OK, appreciation is fine. Now get back to work!

From: Leslee K. Caul
Sent: Friday, May 6, 2016 2:57 PM
To: All_Staff_grp <All_Staff@psd1.org>
Subject: Happy Teacher Appreciation Week

Teachers,

Thank you for the important work you do for Pasco students and families.

Please enjoy this video:

https://youtu.be/aXGwf7M5LJw

We hope you had a lovely week!

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