One of the great things about walking all day is that you have lots of time to think. This latest post has been on my mind and I think after walking such a great distance, it is a good idea to put this out there.
Again, George Couros is an inspiration, but this is something that was on my mind throughout our West Highland Way trek. I would encourage you to read his entire post. He makes a great deal of sense and I just wish more people in senior administration would do more than just retweet his work and ponder what he is saying.
I hope that what George writes and what I am writing here will help people who are going through similar experiences. If this is you, read carefully what George writes and don’t let anyone ever dim your light!
The reality of our world is that people get threatened when other people shine their light on the world. This bothers me even more so when it is educators doing it to educators, as our jobs are to empower those we serve, not try to bring them down. If you are doing this to a colleague or peer, would you do it to a student? Would you do it to my daughter if she was in your classroom? In education, this is unacceptable.
Here is my response to the post.
Thanks George, a very good post and excellent advice. There does come a time however when you need to consider leaving the system when those in positions of higher authority have made the decision to block you any way they can. I guess this come under #3 ‘move on and ignore’.
You are right to point out that it is strange that educators can treat other educators poorly, but my experience tells me that with a few notable exceptions, educators forget who they are (or were) the higher up the corporate eduladder they climb.
They can be very cruel and unforgiving to the point where on my case, they suspended me for three weeks without cause. While I was later vindicated and invited back into the professional fold, they never apologized which to me is inexcusable.
A year after my suspension, I retired from my board and I am much more at peace. I still have a great community of positive fellow educators that I work and correspond with, but I no longer have to suffer the negative soul destroying authoritarians who made my life so difficult.
Coming on to two years now after the suspension, it still rankles and this is something that could still be solved with a simple ‘sorry’.
How can we expect to make real progress in our education systems when the people at the top expect blind compliance. To forge a different path means that you could be punished with impunity.
That was the end of my comment today.
I don’t expect ever to hear from my former employers. It would be good if they took responsibility for their actions. It was shameful, but I have certainly moved on.
I have climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro, I have had the privilege of assisting my partner through major surgery and I have trekked more than 100 km through the Western Highlands with my daughter.
I have left the past behind and I love the exciting challenges that the future presents.
Thanks George and the West Highland Way for getting this post written – finally! Now on to more great positive adventures in the future.