Five months and still zero specific Superintendent candidate qualification or search information from the opaque, corrupt San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD)in their Superintendent Selection scams.
Today Sunday Reads features an interesting podcast/article from EdSurge describing the hesitancy of Teachers to share the mistakes they have made in the classroom and how honestly sharing those mistakes in a healthy school/district/community work environment can enhance the educational/social/emotional learning of students and their collaboration with parents, community members and colleagues.
Along with the brief written highlights in the article we have provided the full recorded podcast with the full interview. We strongly urge our readers to listen to the podcast that explains the Teacher perspective from which we have selected key quotes for our Sunday Reads analysis.
By Jeffrey R. Young Oct 19, 2021
We all make mistakes. But for educators, mistakes can be particularly hard to deal with. For one thing, they can have big consequences—after all, a teacher’s role is to help shape young minds. And living with mistakes made in the classroom can feel lonely, since there’s a culture in education that prizes showing teachers at their best, and glossing over some of the biggest challenges.
One educator has set out to change that. He’s Jon Harper, assistant principal at Choptank Elementary, a public school in Cambridge, Md. He’s also host of a podcast called My Bad, where he asks a teacher to share a big mistake they’ve made, and to talk through what they’ve learned from it.
“I want people to listen to this podcast and realize that they’re not alone when they make big screw ups,” he said. “And yet we think it because what we see on social media—either Pinterest or Facebook or Twitter—you see the perfect classroom, or you hear about the perfect moment. The highlight reel.”
He’s been doing the podcast for more than five years, and he’s put out more than 100 episodes. The format is short, with each episode lasting only about 10 minutes. But they’re often emotional, and tackle the human struggles of teaching, including dealing with insecurity, work-life balance, and these days, the isolation and burn-out made worse by the pandemic.
Harper even turned highlights of the podcast into a short book, called “MY BAD: 24 Educators Who Messed Up Fessed Up and Grew!”
Listen on Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Play Music, or wherever you listen to podcasts, or use the player on this page.
EdSurge: Why do you think teachers are often reluctant to share mistakes they’ve made?
Jon Harper: I think it comes down to psychological safety. And in the teaching profession, a lot of times folks are judged by mistakes. People will go in and do an observation. A lot of times someone’s looking for, where did they mess up or make a mistake? And you’re [marked] down for it. As opposed to in some environments [in other professions], people embrace mistakes. They say, That’s all right. Take that chance. Go for it. Maybe it didn’t work. But I think teaching is a scary profession in that you’re worried that someone’s always evaluating you.
That’s especially true last year [teaching remotely] with Zoom. I mean, you have parents, grandparents, guardians watching your every move.
Since we are living in that world, do your guests worry that coming on your podcast will be detrimental to their career?
I had a recent interview with a teacher who was very brave and came on the podcast. When she first started teaching her way of coping with all the stress and anxiety was through alcohol. And it was really powerful. I applauded her so much for this. And I’m certain she had to be a little bit worried about other people hearing this. But she talked about how she has [now been sober for a long time]. And she wanted people to know that they’re not alone.
It sounds like there’s also an impact on the relationship with students when teachers and educators are more vulnerable?
Absolutely. It helps when teachers share—once they’re willing to be vulnerable with kids. I’ve noticed this myself. It’s been a while since I’ve been in the classroom, but I take medication for anxiety, and I’ve shared this with students and parents before. And I have noticed myself that once I talk about that—and I don’t go into deep details with them—but once I share that with them and I’m vulnerable with them, they let their guard down a little bit. Once you’re willing to open up and share with them, kids will reciprocate. I mean if we’re being honest for so long teachers, we ask kids to come in at circle time and at class meetings and we ask them to share.
And yet, oftentimes we don’t share.
The more we can share, especially in this day and age, with all the anxieties and stress and depression and things that are going on. If you’re in a classroom where someone feels safe sharing, and they just pull you aside one-on-one or after class if they’re having a problem. That is so powerful.
DISTRICT DEEDS SYNOPSIS:
This EdSurge podcast/article provided a good insight into the fears and challenges of Teachers in their every school day and personal life and some of the healthy ways to deal with it.
Unfortunately there is a huge disclaimer that must be attached to the recommendations provided:
The lies, corruption and vindictiveness of the SDUSD Central Office leadership and, in some cases, school site leadership, actually penalizes Teachers, Staff, Students, Parents for honesty and openness.
We decided to pull key phrases from the podcast and apply them to the the current unhealthy work and and learning environment in the SDUSD. Here are the key phrase “bullets”:
Teachers compare themselves to the “highlight reel” they see from other Teachers on social media.
Welcome to the club! Almost everyone who reads social media compare themselves to those who post their “perfect” lives there. The key, as the podcast mentions, is that social media isn’t the reality of every day in the classroom, home or anywhere else. In fact some, if not all, of that social media perfection is a complete fake.
But guess who puts the majority of that phony, fake and misleading information on Social media regarding SDUSD schools?
The liars from the SDUSD Propaganda Communications Department!
And guess who persecutes any Teacher, Staff, Student or Family that puts the truth of what really happens in the SDUSD classrooms?
The liars from the SDUSD Board of Education Trustees, Superintendent, Senior Staff, who created the SDUSD crony, toxic work and learning environment.
Any wonder why Teachers and Families are afraid to share and trust?
Teachers are “worried about someone always evaluating you”.
We can empathize with the Teachers.
Parents, Students and Families are evaluated from the first day any of their family enter a SDUSD school, and not just educationally evaluated. The home life, income, health, communication skills, transportation and demeanor are evaluated, and discussed openly, virtually every day and at every level of the SDUSD school site…from the clerk in the front office to the Principal. A family who refuses to share that information with multiple site and district personnel is refused entry into the school. If a family “acts” the wrong way they are ostracized by school site personnel and fellow parents.
At least Teachers/Staff are paid to be evaluated and are selectively “protected” by their Union IF they cooperate with Union leadership and don’t voluntarily report/expose Teacher/Staff colleagues who violate rules, ethics or morals.
Families are not paid and are not protected from the multi billion dollar SDUSD or million dollar union protected Teachers/Staff by anyone except themselves and their lawyer…if they can afford one.
Vulnerability comes before trust
The podcast mentioned that admitting challenges, faults and mistakes puts a Teacher in a very vulnerable position and can only be expected in a safe, healthy work environment.
Like we sad earlier:
The liars from the SDUSD Board of Education Trustees, Superintendent, Senior Staff, have created the SDUSD crony, toxic work and learning environment.
That work environment makes it impossible for the Teacher to expose their needed vulnerability and severely limits any degree of trust…we parents and community understand.
But do the other SDUSD Stakeholders understand the forced vulnerability and trust demanded of every SDUSD family?
We entrust our most valued and loved possession, our children, to a school district that lies to us daily. Instead what we get is…
“Toxic positivity – Oppressive upbeatness”
As the podcast also said, “People want real”
Check out the graphic from the front page of the SDUSD website:
Let’s start at the top…the “All In 100%” slogan.
District Deeds Translation:
San Diego Unified School District: “All in 40% (or less)”
Here is “Disaster No. 3 – “Endangered SDUSD Choice Program” from a post 5 years ago:
In past years, the SDUSD had a fairly generous School Choice program. The window for applying was November 1 – February 15, 3 1/2 months, to allow parents and guardians to fully investigate the best possible educational option for their children.
Busing was readily available and free to all.
A School Choice window of nearly 15 weeks!
We also said:
“What it REALLY does is inspire families to look for better options OUTSIDE the SDUSD since they can’t easily get into the SDUSD school of their choice.
A quick, unscientific survey of local Elementary, Middle and High School Charter Schools uncovered that charters have MUCH MORE EXPANSIVE windows to apply for admission.
There are charters in San Diego competing with the SDUSD that open applications for enrollment starting as early as October and ending as late as June!!!!”
This year the School Choice window is again substantially shorter.
The tiniest small type at the bottom of the propaganda screen reads:
“Apply online October 4 – November 15:
Only 6 Weeks instead of 15 Weeks…60% less…the corrupt Marten legacy lives on!
But there is more.
How about the SDUSD propaganda exploitation of a very young smiling child of color, with some sort of digital editing, promoting the drastically reduced school busing and time frame that will actually deny school choice to that child and other students of color to educationally escape he highest poverty areas of San Diego?
Despicable, corrupt and a “Toxic Positivity” lie with “Oppressive Upbeatness” to boot!
Proof that the lying, racist Marten legacy lives on though the current Interim Superintendent and Board of Education.
And no trace of a reason for any SDUSD Teacher, Student, Family or community to risk unforced “Vulnerability” or “Trust”.
In other words, just another year in the San Diego Unified School District.
Now for our “Quote of the Week” dedicated to the blandly supportive SDUSD:
“My family were blandly supportive to the point of uselessness. Oh, they had plenty of soothing platitudes, but platitudes wouldn’t get me back 20 years.” ―
- Your family has been injured by the San Diego Unified School District, go to the District Deeds Complaint Forms page to find instructions to fight for your Civil Rights!
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