Each of us together makes Piedmont work - this post is about us respecting the contribution of each of the different styles, we are like different chefs.
Here at Piedmont we are pretty awesome at sharing the load according to our own passions and what we are each best at. For example, I just ended an awkward sentence with a preposition and now someone from the ELA department will offer to help me edit future blog posts next time they stop in for a chocolate. )
There is something magical about watching an artist at work and that is exactly what I do around here daily -watch and marvel at your diverse artistry.
I watch as you plan, haggle, teach, interact with students, direct traffic, handle medical emergencies, complete paperwork, etc. and sometimes it is the same person on the same day doing each of these with aplomb! We all have our gifts and rather than be a cookie-cutter school, we shape the menu by contributing our best dishes to the table of education.
We are all like chefs in teaching. We are trained in our techniques and we all need each other for a well-balanced meal/school but we should not judge one chef's work as good an another's as bad based only on our tastes or cooking philosophy. If we waste precious energy judging the sushi chef-saying "how can they be so lazy not to fire up an oven? they serve raw food!" then we are missing their gift entirely (and also being disrespectful of their training- do YOU know how to remove puffer poision? I didn't think so.)
What about the fry cook? Don't blame them that they are not serving molecular gastronomy when if you were in their situation you have no idea how soggy your fries would be. You may think fries aren't very important in the big scheme of things, but have you ever had soggy fries? It is sorely disappointing, my friend.
You might think I've gone too far with this cooking metaphor, but we are like that here a little bit. We form teams by grade, by content area, by early riser versus rolling in at 8:30 we all JUST A LITTE BIT judge each other sometimes and we need to stop and appreciate. That person you think is too gruff with the kids is also first one that the abused sought the protection of and felt secure enough to confide in. That person who is not following the curriculum pathway you think they should - their class kept a student from dropping out. You see where this is going, right? That person who is driving you crazy because they don't value x as highly as you do - they can teach the heck out of y -way better than the rest of us could.
We are all cooking up a beautiful meals in our rooms- different according to each chef. Some of us struggle making healthy menus. Some of us have well balanced meals but struggle with plating it in an appetizing manner. We can't help minimize each others' weaknesses if we are busy blaming the cook for not being more like ourselves.
Shout out to all of you - I admire you! I'm sorry I judged your cooking and I learned my lesson when you judged mine.
PS:All these examples are made up but this post was actuallly written at the request of a coworker who is feeling judged and unappreciated and like others don't see all they do- and they are right, we don't! Who is it? They told me not to say.
Maybe it is the next person you see in the hallway. Pretend like it is.
More of me using food metaphors to discuss education: the State of Education in Cake.
More of you being amazing - Celebrating Piedmont.
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Lisa Gurthie is the PD facilitator at Piedmont IB Middle School. She specializes in tech and arts integration, interdisciplinary holistic education, and unschooling school to reconnect academia to real life. One day she will modernize her "about" page. She curates this blog for the professional development convenience of the teachers at Piedmont, but the editorial comments are her own.