Thursday, April 7, 2016

What is experience worth?

This year is my 20th in education. Twenty years of dealing with students, professional development, and working with a variety of colleagues does teach a person a thing or two. One thing I've observed is how I recently went from being a mid-career educator to a seasoned one due to an influx of co-workers who lack experience. I always am willing to share my knowledge but I am definitely still learning things. It worries me that the people I looked up to for many years are retiring right and left. Especially since it sometimes seems as if it is because their experience was no longer valued. Education welcomes new ideas so readily sometimes that it seems we are in danger of throwing the baby out with the bath water. Shouldn't we instead strive for balance? In my opinion, a well- balanced faculty would consist equally of new educators, mid-career educators, and seasoned ones. Administrative positions should be likewise balanced. 
Another area I sense needs more balance is with the use of technology. Part of this observation is being made from my experience as a parent with a student in the grades I teach. Boy, can technology become a crutch! More and more I see homework that can be completed by simply Googling answers as opposed to learning the information or creative use of it. Funny how this can relate to the first problem! I wonder what sort of educational crisis we will have to encounter before we realize this? From my vantage point, we are in a crisis already. Why else do school districts embrace fad after fad and spend so much money on data? 
I anticipate 15 more years of doing this. What will I see? Maybe the dystopia books I read are affecting me too much. But they are way more fun to read than stuff like this. Hopefully I'll be able to still read great YA books to share with teens for 15 years. Writers- keep writing. Readers- keep reading. I will keep on connecting you. 

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