Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Feelings and Right

Sometimes it is hard to say and do what is right. Sometimes we get our feelings hurt when we try to do what is right.

I remember the first time my feelings were hurt in my prior position. My friend, my colleague and my mentor was the culprit and it is something that will stick with me, but it was also something that was necessary, even if I didn’t like it.

I was described as too willing to succumb to authority. I have too much respect for the people in power and when they said ‘do this,’ I didn’t question it enough. She was right, but it hurt.

Unfortunately in the world of education there are too many conflicting interests where there really should be only one, the students. The students are why we are here, they are who our energy should be focused on. But we all know there are many other factors that must be considered, there is no way around it. There is funding and money, there are people and egos, there is hierarchy and politics, and these things all must be factored in when making decisions.

I believed that we all had the best interests of students at heart and that if the ‘grownups’ made a decision it was what they believed was best for the students. Naive. So naive I am embarrassed now at how naive I was.

Now, it was my turn to point out that decisions from the ‘grownups’ must not be trusted implicitly. And it hurt feelings. Unfortunately, that is why we have the hierarchy. The checks and balances of many people is needed.

This is not to say that the ‘grownups’ do not have the students’ interests at heart, but that they have to answer to a balance sheet. It takes those of us in the classrooms to stand up and shout when the balance sheet is not working in the favor of the students. We have to know what is going on around us and not just do blindly what we are told to do. There are many factors involved in decisions, and sometimes we have to point them out the decision makers, not because they choose not to see, just because their focus is on administrative tasks, while our focus is on the students. It is our job to stand up for the students when they come into conflict with the balance sheet.

Feelings be damned, what is right it right. I had to learn. It stung, but it was necessary.

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