I am a happy, hopeful but highly critical curmudgeon. There is quite a bit in the world of education that I hate. I have no problems using the "H" word. There are lots of people in the world of education that I strongly dislike as well.
I really believe that we are constrained by niceness. Too many things that need to be said aren't said because we worry about being nice. To hell with nice. I believe in respect but I also believe that one can remain respectful while still dispensing with the trappings of niceness. In the David Fincher adaptation of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Daniel Craig's character makes the near fatal decision to accept the invitation of the movie's villain to enter his house for a drink, even though he KNOWS full well that this person is a killer. As this decision starts to look even more deadly, the killer mocks Daniel Craig for entering his house despite knowing the truth just to avoid the awkwardness of breaking social convention.
niceness damn near cost Daniel Craig his life!!!
I LOVE being an educator. I love progress. I love seeing children learn. I hate the impediments to progress and learning. I think that the major impediment is TALK. Often, we are too nice to take bold action or any action at all. We are happy to stay at the peripheries of issues. The cult of niceness entraps and overwhelms action. The main weapon of the cult of niceness is TALK. I was inspired to write this blog when I came upon the quote below on Twitter. It was shared by a former student who is now a teacher. Thanks Stephanie!
Too many words in education. Too many people talking. Not enough people actually doing.
The educators, thinkers, activists and civic leaders that I admire are doers. They experiment. They test, recalibrate, learn, and try again. This is the very model of learning that will serve our students.