When I first started teaching...there weren't "canned programs" handed to me. I got a list of standards that I was responsible for teaching and was sent on my way. And TEACH I did. Yesterday I was talking to a couple of my colleagues after a hard day's work and a teacher I value said to me, "I don't want to read a script.
I've said it before and I will say it again...if I wanted to follow a script...I WOULD HAVE BEEN A ACTOR. I am not like other teachers I know. I challenge the rules. I literally cannot follow the "scripts" provided by people that haven't been in a classroom in decades...IF EVER.
Some days it seems like the battle to actually teach again will never be won. My conversation with that awesome teacher I mentioned earlier made me feel pretty good about how I spend my free time. I create things to HELP teachers and kids. I write assessments and develop curriculum that requires NO SCRIPT. Because I know that doesn't work. I want a teacher to be able to download something I created and use it instantly. They say you can sell lots more stuff if you blog about it...or explain how to use it. I don't need to blog about HOW to use my materials...they are all meant to be self-explanatory and Student/Teacher friendly. When I created this argument unit...it was for MY KIDS. And they were all at different places in their writing journey. My intent was to create anything that someone might need to find success. I didn't use all of the parts. I used the pieces my kids need! But I knew I was teaching the standards because I aligned it to the Common Core...and then some.
This is how I help kids and teachers now. There is no canned program. I certainly didn't create another one. I create things teachers can use easily and have everything at their fingertips that would support their kids. It's not rocket science...
Teaching is an art...but the canvas has been hijacked by people that think they can control what we do in our classrooms each day. I'm looking forward to the day the pendulum swings back in the direction of allowing teachers to create and make their own decisions...for their kids.
In the meantime...I'll be in my classroom. Going OFF-SCRIPT.