Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Is saying "It is what is best for kids" a shield?

I constantly hear the phrase, " I do what is best for kids."  I then often hear nothing more...

I agree wholeheartedly that doing what is best for kids is how we should all be thinking as educators, this is sort of a no brainer.  Do we need to state it? and better yet, are you really doing that or just saying it?

I equate saying, "I do what is best for kids" as an educator to saying it is cold outside when it is negative 7 degrees fahrenheit.  You feel it, does not really need to be stated.  You would laugh at someone that said, "I wear a coat when it is cold outside!"  It is expected you wear a coat in the cold and if you don't, then you are questioned.  You are not patted on the back for doing it. "Great job remembering that coat!" just sounds silly.

"I do what is best for kids" should be a feeling not necessarily repeated as affirmation to your work.

So I challenge you to feel "I do what is best for kids" and state what you are doing that is best for them.  Maybe you think that what you are doing is... but until you state it and get reaction, feedback, or brainstorm with others, YOUR "what is best for kids" may not actually be what is best for THEM.

Stop with the affirmations and start with the doing, detailed sharing, actionable steps, plans, programs, writing, modeling, risk taking, whatever, just stop putting up the shield.  The shield of "I do what is best for kids".  That is a conversation stopper, not a conversation starter.  That statement says to me, "don't question me, because I know".  If you challenge that you are challenging someone's passion, which never gets you anywhere.  Don't allow yourself to have that shield, prevent yourself from stopping a conversation before it ever starts.

Think: (all the time) 

"I do what is best for kids"

Question: (these are just a few examples) 

"What are you doing that is going to promote their growth?"
"What are you going to do that supports them in all areas social, emotional, health, and academics?"
"What are you going to do when they struggle and when they things seem to be too easy?"

State: (these are just a few examples)  
"We or I do the following that has shown this result...."
"When my students did this they....."
"Our kids are successful when...."
"I need to empower students and staff by....."

"I do what is best for kids" is what we ALL should be thinking, although should be kept as thought.  I do not think it promotes growth, it is a fixed mindset.  "I do what is best for kids" or other versions of that, in my opinion are shield statements, meant to use to protect your opinions and thoughts from being challenged and improved.  Think it all day, and if needed have your secret affirmation clubs, but don't repeat it over and over like a tag line.  Get past that, and begin with what you are doing and what questions you are asking.  Not all thoughts need to be repeated, some should be felt, expected, and assumed.

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