My Hope for the Week…

I know I don't really start until tomorrow, but I thought that I'd publish\none blog post today to try and create a little context for the things I'll\nprobably say this week.


I'm a teacher. I had to make myself some business cards not long ago and I\nstruggled with what to put on them. Teacher is really a little\nnon-descript, in my mind at least. I eventually settled on "Educational\nInterventionist." That's what I do; I intervene (as part of a larger team) in\nsituations where students aren't succeeding in learning. Much of the time that\nmeans doing the things that a special education teacher does. And after all,\nthat's my actual title and my position at the moment. I'm the only special\neducation teacher at a very small elementary school. But the changes that were\nmade in 2004 to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) mean that\nI spend part of my day "intervening" with kids that haven't been placed in\nspecial education yet – and maybe will never be.


While my business card might say that I'm an Educational Interventionist, the\ntruth is that I'm an educator in the broadest sense. I've taught phonemic\nawareness to kindergarten kids and math to fourth graders. I've worked with\nspecial education students at the middle and secondary levels. I've taught a few\ncollege classes as an adjunct. I've taught Sunday School at a Baptist church.\nI've taught grammar and vocabulary to ESL students in both high school and\ncollege. And I've taught senior citizens how to use a mouse and find their way\naround Windows.


Along the way I've thought about what I do. When I took the Introduction to\nLeadership at Marshall University some years ago, one of the things they\nemphasized was professional reflection. I bought into that, and I suppose it is\none of the reasons I write about education (or anything else); writing helps me\nreflect, helps me clarify my thoughts...


I've thought about why my school system can't find the teachers it needs.\nI've thought about how we treat students with disabilities and about why Johnny\n(sometimes) can't read. I've thought about vouchers and charter schools, about\nscripted curriculums and the role of technology in our classrooms, about high\nstakes testing and about where we go from here. And who will lead us there.


This week I hope to share some of those thoughts with you, to make you think\nabout what the issues really are. If you think leadership is primarily about\ncompliance and paperwork, about audits and personnel management, you'll probably\nfind me at least vaguely annoying. If you think leadership is about vision and\npurpose, about service and about shaping the future for the greater good of\nsociety, I'd like to think you'll find what I have to say thought provoking.


Well, I have to go get ready to watch the Super Bowl...


Greg Cruey, Guest Blogger


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