Recently, I spoke to a friend’s 16-year-old son about his new job at McDonald’s. I was particularly interested due to my own time as a grill jockey at Karingal McDonald’s in the late 80s that led to my claim to fame of being Australia’s first male McDonald’s Kids Party host. You can stop clapping now!
He’s loving life as a Macca’s employee, saying the people there were nice and that his Manager let him know he was the best Quarter Pounder cook he’d seen. He laughed that, in a slow period, he actually had to show everyone else how to make the perfect Quarter Pounder. He’s the king of Quarters and nobody questions the king!
And why would you? He’s proved his expertise. In much the same way that we wouldn’t query a dentist performing a root canal on us or critique the electrician installing a ceiling fan, we defer to the expertise of those who have earned that mantle.
It prompts a serious question of us in schools. When was the last time we stood proudly in our expertise as educators? When was the last time we refused to bend to parental pressure, to departmental squeeze or to broader societal expectations? When was the last time somebody felt uncomfortable questioning your expertise? Perhaps it’s time they were … just a little.
No profession has suffered more diminishing of status in the last 30 years than teaching. And while there may be multiple reasons – one is certainly that we are failing to proclaim our expertise about learning and learning cultures. It takes planning and strategy, but perhaps we can address this if we start communicating and demonstrating the incredible stuff we know … and we know so much!
How could your school elevate it’s teachers’ status through a focus on communicating expert content, rather than just what the fines will be for a late library book?
Getting started on a great School Culture
Sometimes, it’s the just absence of a plan that causes the most stress and anxiety. We’d like to help with that.
For a free School Culture appraisal inclusive of school focus suggestions, AITSL standards to focus on and also Professional Learning considerations, give some thought to spending 15 minutes of your mid-semester break on our School Culture Survey.
There’s zero obligation – and it might just be the start of something big for your school.