Worry About What You Can Control

      Today, in the pre-game interview, Suzyn Waldman asked Joe Girardi if CC worries about facing Verlander.   Joe’s answer applies to teachers as well as pitchers: “CC knows that he can only worry about the things he can control.”

Testing…Composite Scores…Politics

                      

Don’t Worry About What You Can’t Control

This is good advice for teachers,too, especially now, when so much of what is happening in education is beyond our control.  We can get worked up over the detrimental effects of widespread testing, we can lament the ways in which Danielson isn’t the objective, evidence-based evaluation it should, in theory, be, we can argue against the commercialization/politicization/vilification of teaching–and we would be justified on all counts–but we would be wasting valuable energy better spent on more important tasks: the kids!

Ultimately, what we care about, what gets us out of bed and into work each day is what happens in our classrooms.  It’s about the kids, right? It’s sharing the content you love with your students.

Forget about Andy Cuomo or Arnie Duncan, neither of whom will ever know your students.  Forget about Pearson, whose flawed testing tells us next to nothing about what we need to do to be more effective. Keep telling yourself that it’s about the kids, stupid!

Easier said than done, though.   When the policy makers say that they expect test scores to nose dive, we see kids, not numbers. We see kids who trust adults to do what is best for them. We see kids struggling with questions we haven’t been able to prepare them to answer. We see children. Every single day, we see children. Isn’t that what we should be seeing?

Then we see composite scores that will tell the world that we aren’t really so good at what we work so hard to do.

Don’t worry about what you can’t control.

I am trying very hard to take this advice to heart.