Sunday, June 28, 2009

Do I need to have my own class to have credibility as a Facilitator?

I haven't been in a classroom full time since 2003. Since then I've held a several ICT roles both part and full time. Over the past 5-6 years I've participated in (or over heard) variations on the following types of conversations about me:

* I've forgotten what it's like to be in a classroom/real world
* It's easy for me because I don't have a class
* A classroom teacher's job is more important than mine
* I don't have to work hard now that I don't have a class
* My time is less valuable than a classroom teacher's
* I dream up "extra" work for teachers to do
* Management just want change for change's sake and it's all a waste of time

I could go on but you get the picture...

I should add that this has not been all teachers I work with but enough to make it worth blogging about! My reaction to these statements has changed over the years. When I first stepped outside the classroom and took on a part time ICT teacher role I was upset by the things teachers said. As time went by I became defensive and somewhat distant to protect my feelings. In the last couple of years I've worked with a more diverse group of educators and am now much more confident in my contribution and refuse to buy into the few who continue to be negative.

And yet I'm still not sure. Why do I have to lose credibility with some teachers simply because I am no longer in a classroom full time? Does this happen to others in similar positions to me? Is it possible to regain that credibility without having my own class?


Barb said...

It's not so much about you but, I think, for some teachers, it's just another excuse for not having to use ICTs. Just because you are not in a classroom, doesn't mean you are not advocating good practice. Most facilitators in all areas encounter this type of resistance. If they (the teachers) can stick it out long enough,they think it will all just go away. One solution is good leadership within schools and also having expectations that this is the way we do it round here.

Advocates of good practice will always be credible for those willing to listen.

dragonsinger57 said...

I get good ideas for my classroom all the time from people who AREN'T classroom teachers any more - people like Suzie Vesper, Jacqui Sharp.

If you have good ideas I'm going to listen. I may question things but I'll still listen.

(Actually my 22yo sometimes comes up with ideas for my classroom!)

Belinda said...

Barb - I think you are right as, for some, these statements provide them with an "out". You raise some good points about leadership and good practice!

Dragonsinger57 - I just wish all teachers had the same attitude! I don't expect everyone to agree with everything I say, just have an open mind and be willing to listen and try new things.