Just lately I’ve noticed that I seem to be coming up with workarounds for problems, just so I can get my job done. In the past few days I’ve had to rethink a lesson because the school network won’t support a particular action, or I’ve had to switch plans midstream because the software I’d been planning to use does not run properly, or I’ve had to change my original idea for a lesson because there is no power outlet where I need it, or I’ve had to modify an assessment task because the tools that I have been promised are not available… and the list goes on.
I’ve had conversations recently with other teachers who tell me that they cannot do things with their classes because their school system has filters that prohibit them from using certain software or accessing certain sites. These teachers are “making do” with less than they’d like because “the system” is not able to provide what they need.
It’s occurred to me how much of what we do in our schools is focussed on looking for workarounds to problems that are caused in the first place by “the system.” The irony is that I see teachers doing wonderful things with students IN SPITE of the school system, rather than BECAUSE of the school system. The infrastructure that is supposed to be there to provide a platform for us to be effective with our students is so often the very stumbling block that prevents it.
Working around the System by Chris Betcher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.