Anyone wishing to continue in the Internet buzz around the Washington Post article by Sarah Fine (see yesterday’s post) should also check out Traci at leadingfromtheheart.org and Michael Doyle. Everyone agrees that Fine’s problem is a symptom of a larger systemic flaw, but I feel that I must re-emphasize that “caring” and “kindness” are not enough to produce quality learning or sustain oneself through a career. I re-emphasized this on Michael’s blog.
Can we agree on this much? If passion and kindness was the main fuel of the successful teacher and caring distinguished successful teachers from unsuccessful ones, wouldn’t our schools be filled with loving, selfless veterans. Anyone at a school like that? Anyone? No, our schools are often strife-filled edifices of selfishness and pettiness.
What also is emerging from this is that the star teachers seem to be able to get through it all. This is Haberman’s main point in the book (see yesterday’s post). They are kind and persistent through the mess. If we allow that Fine is kind (and we have no reason to suspect otherwise), then there are other factors still not being considered (like academic freedom or the proper recognition of a good lesson like I mentioned in Michael’s blog.