I greeted Hinojosa’s return to the district with some relief, as when he was superintendent he focused on higher order thinking skills and allowed relative freedom for teachers to teach the way they knew worked.
Hinojosa invested in research-based training for teachers from consultants out of Pennsylvania. Although he spent several million $$ on this professional development, the training seemed to be in the right direction, focusing on student learning with various strategies and espousing the idea that intelligence in kids and thus performance could grow. It wasn’t extremely heavy handed in its implementation, and most students seemed engaged as we practiced the strategies. Collaborative learning was a big part of the program, but teachers had freedom to implement it in the ways that best fit their discipline and grade level.
Since Hinojosa’s return, though, I find myself again discouraged by the posts I see here from teachers, stating that during the first week of school they were yet again being told “their verbs didn’t match on the LO and DOL and how many MRS strategies they should do per class period.–and this came after Hinojosa had stated at the kickoff and t the press that he was concerned about teacher morale and turnover.
In the past few days the frustration I am seeing expressed here and on TALK Disd is almost palpable. By that I mean that people seem to be rising from the “I must keep my job to feed myself and my children no matter what; I’ll just keep my head down” phase to something less compliant and angrier. Am I right?
I could be misreading the change in sentiment, of course, but I sense that something is different. If I am correct, then I wish to pose this question: Are teachers in Dallas willing to act to escape the labyrinth in which they’ve been imprisoned even after Miles the Minotaur’s death? If that is the case, I expect to see more people than the usual suspects speaking at the BOT meeting on September 24th
Yes, we know that Bill Betzen will probably be there and also Mike MacNaughton. We might even hear from the lady from South Dallas who makes reference to Teddy Pendergrass songs.
The last time I heard her speak, she spoke directly to Miles, stating that the TP song “The Whole Town’s Laughing” was the way her community felt about Mike Miles. I don’t know the lady at all, but I admire her dedication to the children in her community, and I want to suggest a new song to which we should expose to the BOT and Dr. Hinojosa at the next BOT meeting.
It’s called “Wake Up Everybody,” and it was very popular in the mid 70s. In fact it was a huge hit. Some lines in the song that struck me were these:
When you teach the children, teach them the very best you can.
The world won’t get no better, if we just let it be.
Da Da Da Da Da Da Da
We got to change it girl, just you and me.
Teachers, we all know that the district’s continued focus on rigid multiple response strategies is not “teaching the children the very best we can.” We feel it in our guts; we know it in our hearts.
Now is the time for all of us to focus on removing this blighted form of teaching from DISD. Removing it is so much more important than teachers’ being evaluated and paid according to this bizarre, non-sensical strategy. Why? Because It is negatively affecting 160,000 students in the district, and it is dooming their futures. Nothing I’ve foreseen as a successful future for our students resembles chanting, showing white boards, turning and talking, or pairing and sharing. much less doing so 5 times in a 50 minute class period! It does resemble an assembly line in a Chinese factory, but it shouldn’t represent the kind of education we offer to Dallas children.
Please join me in this fight. Organize, speak at the next BOT meeting, and fight this menace to our children’s futures. If we can’t step up and fight this, we can’t really call ourselves educators:
The world won’t get no better if we just let it be
Da Da Da Da Da Da
The world won’t get no better
We gotta change it girl, just you and me.
Can’t do it alone; need some help, ya’ll.
Can’t do it alone.
Wake up, everybody.
Need a little help, ya’ll.
Need a little help.
I hope to see you on the 24th.