It has been suggested over the past few days that I refrain from criticizing teachers – at least the caring, innovative ones – because all I am succeeding in doing is alienating the people with whom I should be working to change the system. I disagree that teachers are above criticism just because they are trying their best, but I’m all for changing the system.
And because I am willing to try any tactic that might move our system away from coercive education (or maybe I’m just a glutton for punishment), I’ve attempted to reach out. To one teacher in particular. I commented on her blog post (and I promise I was diplomatic, if firm). I sent her a tweet asking her a question. I mentioned on this blog that I would welcome a discussion in which she explained to me why she feels I am wrong in my assessment of her statements regarding her students. If she gets pingbacks to her blog and looks at them, she’d have seen as much.
The only response, which wasn’t an actual response, was that the blog post she wrote, and on which I commented but was never approved, was removed from her site. She never answered my question or responded on Twitter.
Instead, today she wrote a post in which she talks about caring too much, believing in all her students and being a great teacher.
And now I’m puzzled.
Shouldn’t a teacher have the courage of their convictions? Shouldn’t they be willing to defend their point of view? Why would you write a public blog if you’re not ready to hear any dissent?
And more importantly, how can any dialogue – even one in which two sides vehemently disagree – begin if only one side is willing to talk?
So I’ll keep writing what I write and discussing my views on learning with anyone who is interested. Even if they disagree with me. I wish this teacher would do the same.