Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Assumptions Make a What Outa Who?

I'm an easy-going person. I try to 'roll with it' and give people the benefit of the doubt. I haven't always been like that--I've had my share of foot-in-mouth syndrome...some so bad that I think about them every now and then and cringe. Those moments of impulsive jumps-to-conclusion have made me more aware of possibilities of situations. Unfortunately, I'm willing to say most people don't withhold their judgments. Those such people exist in large numbers in the field of education. Too many educators think they have all the answers. Their knowledge is infinite and runs deeper than yours, so sit back and pay attention! This was the case with my move from one school to another (changed my SPED focus). People assumed that because I was new to the school that I was new to the profession. I got all kinds of advice, input, and suggestions--all unsolicited. I'm not one to say, "I know," because I don't like implying that I know everything already, but how many times was I tempted??? Practically the entire school year! Little did they know I had been a teacher already, had the credentials long obtained, and had a post-graduate education. Since I'm not going to wear that information on my forehead, I had to suffer through the do-gooders, even though much of the time I had to correct them because THEY were wrong. Oh well.
But now I'm in a class (yes, another class) at FSU, and it's instructed by a recent doctoral graduate. If there's one class of people who think they know it all it's the newly graduated doctors of whatever. I even mentioned that to the department head at FSU without saying it directly and she finished the sentence for me. So I'm not way off base. This instructor, and I call her that because teacher seems so small for a university, makes all kinds of assumptions and causes me to grit my teeth through class. She's telling me how to teach MY students, though she's never met them...she's telling me what is good practice and what is bad even though she's never taught in a classroom and really doesn't know...she's the first to drop her 'researched facts' on me though I can find research that counters her statements. Argh! I want to stand up and yell "I'm in the trenches, lady, and you don't know what you are talking about!!" But she would find some research to argue that point as well. She's not sharing 'ideas' or offering a variety of methods for us to select and use in class...she's literally saying "That doesn't work," even though it works like a dream for my students to their benefit. So I have to stomach her for this semester and next semester since she teaches the ONLY other class I have to take to be completely done with my 2nd credential. There are also lots of teachers who think they've got the answers. When I mentioned to two teachers that I received a new student who belonged in their program (a more restrictive environment), they were quick to give me tips on instruction, how to deal with him, how I have to give it a try...blah blah blah. I just sat staring at them like, "Are you for real?" Did I ASK for methods in dealing with him? No, I read this boy's education plan, psych assessments, and met him and knew right away he was not a good fit for my program. "Give him a chance..." they say. I was redeemed when the principal at their school received his paperwork for the referral to move him and without observing him(which is part of the process) said, "Get him over here now and get him a one on one!" See? I know SOMETHING...just not everything.
Only my children think I know everything and it's gonna stay that way!
For everyone else, I will pretend to act uninformed on the topics (in which I am well-read) being spewed at me so I don't come off as a know-it-all, but in reality...your sentence has already been finished in my head.

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