For true educational reform to occur, we must be able to speak and discuss openly. On Friday, I was in my staff room and something truly magical happened. An amazing discussion occurred about current issues in education. The topics ranged from assessment to cell phone use in a school. I use the word "magical", because here are educators that are on their lunch break and they want to discuss possible techniques they can implement in their class, to further advance the amount of learning that is occurring.
This is the true demonstration of passion for their jobs. Even though there were disagreements occurring over certain topics, there was still a sense of congeniality towards each other. At my school, the staff room is not the only place this happens. I have had discussions with staff members walking through the halls, in the photocopy room, in my class, and in the parking lot. I could only hope that other schools demonstrate this constant passion for increasing the quality of teaching and learning inside their walls.
This idea, that I am free to speak my mind, also caries over to my administration. Many times, I have talked to my principal and have walked away feeling that my opinion matters. The open door policy is one that I value greatly as a teacher and helps me express my ideas in a safe and respectful environment. Schools, like any occupation, should have their leaders open to new ideas, views and styles, and I can truly say that my school falls in this category. Once we are able to speak our mind freely and respectfully, true educational improvement can happen.