Hear No Evil, See No Evil, Speak No Evil

One of my ongoing battles/slowest lessons I'm learning regards when to speak and when to keep my mouth shut. I'm not talking about in my classroom of course, but with my colleagues. Now, I've had plenty of opportunities to learn this lesson, but unfortunately in this area, I'm a very slow learner.

My school has a lot of great ideas. My school is very well intended. But that doesn't mean that my school is perfect. So at times I feel it prudent to suggest changes and adjustments that might make things run more smoothly for teachers and students. Okay, I'll admit it, there are times I'm given a task or bit of paper work that doesn't make any sense and then I'll just flat out complain. In any case, I don't feel like I just gripe unnecessarily. I usually have a good reason and/or a half-decent idea that could help out.

Most people that work in the DOE probably know how situations like this work out. Word gets around. If you don't play the part of the good soldier, word will get around, and what started as a benign suggestion has been translated into insubordination. This is one of the more frustrating aspects of my job, because I can't keep my ideas to myself and if something isn't working, I don't like to pretend it is. Most teachers seem to settle on one of two roles: 1) Compliant lapdog 2) Defiant malcontent. Occasionally a teacher chooses a third path: leave for a better school or start a better school. As I figure out who I am as a teacher, I'm not sure I'm happy with any of the options.


This sunk me last year in my first year. Every day, we'd go into common planning time and I'd feel like the clock stopped moving. I literally did not see the point of being there every day when we absolutely accomplished nothing every day.

My A.P. sensed this, and proceeded to place me on his personal "Sh*t list." Personally making my already difficult 1st year, a proverbial nightmare.

I am probably like you, I speak my mind, am frustrated by things that go on around me that seem to go against what we are striving for. It sucks, especially when you know that one of your ideas might really improve the situation.

One of my colleagues told me "Just put on a Poker face." He was more experienced at this whole thing, and, true to form, was praised. Thank god we have a different A.P., but still.

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