Professional Autonomy is Killing Teachers…?

OK. Here’s another resolution that I guess is a resolution. I resolved to continue to blog once or twice a week (actually it was more like 2 or 3 times) but nevertheless I soldier on. I resolve to work towards developing my Netvibes page and my blog. While at times I get a little nervous that I’m not keeping up with my digital-literate colleagues, I find that I’m ‘further’ ahead and more ‘into it’ than others. I guess we each find our own way and usually those that best suits our interests, passions, and professional growth. Thank gawd that professional autonomy is allowing me opportunities for growth and development in areas of interest!

Professional autonomy seems to be also killing I only wish I could share this passion of learning more on a professional basis with my colleagues. When I try they look at me like I’m a little crazy. Who’s got the time? Why would I need to further develop myself. I DO have a master’s you know…

There is currently a group of my colleagues taking their master’s via Gonzaga University in Spokane. Now, I know nothing about the program, the instructor, nor the curriculum. Although everyone seems to be doing the Master’s in Educational Leadership (I know, I laughed at the play on words, too!).

There are six colleagues involved. So far, I have casually gotten into a discussion with three of them (50% if you’re keeping score). Each conversation starts out with me asking, “So, how’s it [the program] going? Are you enjoying it?”

I was expecting resounding positive feedback. Great! Love it! Learning a lot! But, nope. All three did not like the amount of work, their chosen field of study, and the time commitment. Hmmm…

I asked them if they had a PLN started. Were they reading blogs of colleagues interested in the same fields of study? Did they have a Netvibes page? Were they on Twitter? Do they use a social bookmarking tool?

Oh, we don’t have time for THAT…was the general response. Or ‘why would I do that…?’ Hmmmm…

Pedagogical guru, Ruth Sutton, and I had a discussion last fall when she visited Nelson. She felt that we have too much professional autonomy and that is what’s killing teachers in BC. By killing she meant not enjoying teaching, boredom, and basically burnout. The union has too much influence on our professional lives she believes. And this from someone who has been all over the world and seen many jurisdictions of varying qualities. You have to respect that viewpoint. Interesting…maybe she’s onto something.

Or maybe it’s not so much about too much autonomy, but rather it’s about too much UNDIRECTED autonomy…

I need to reflect still more on this view. Somehow it struck a chord and I really like the idea. Sort of radical and yet insanely crazy, too.

Part Two tomorrow. Me, my master’s, and the PLN.

One thought on “Professional Autonomy is Killing Teachers…?

  1. I suspect it isn't the autonomy that is killing them but rather
    their lack of imagination. I have not met a Gonzaga
    grad that wad excited. Something about the academic culture is less inspiring. I have 2 colleagues that
    have been reborn w their current ubc masters.
    The motivated at heart move their professional
    ethos whereever they are in their life. I'll take disillusioned
    autonomy over institutionized conformity any day.
    Great post Jeff- as usual. No fear about 'keeping up'! You
    are progressive and curious- a real pro. Keep it up and you
    just enjoy the challenge this career demands.
    Old but still kickin'


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