What on earth is happening to teaching? There’s a wave of almost unbelievable practices appearing in classrooms. This is the latest jaw-dropper and, truly, I am stunned:
“Last year, my school contracted with the Center for Transformational Training or CT3 to train teachers using an approach called No Nonsense Nurturing.
I wore a bug in my ear. I didn’t have a mouthpiece. Meanwhile an official No Nonsense Nurturer, along with the school’s first year assistant principal and first year behavior intervention coach, controlled me remotely from the corner of the room where they shared a walkie talkie. (Source)
Where to begin?
The teacher is forbidden to speak in whole sentences.
The teacher must narrate what is happening in the room: ‘Noel is is finishing question 3. Marjorie is sitting silently. Alfredo is on page 6.’
The teacher must speak in a monotone voice.
The teacher must stand on both legs and not favour one over the other.
The teacher, it seems, mustn’t teach but must manage, and do it in the most robotic way possible.
It sounds as though there’s no room for joy, no room for praise, no room for individualisation. No room for the human, personal connections that are vital to a healthy learning environment. Just a teacher with an earpiece being directed from the back of the room by three people selling a product:
But the student, a sixth grader with some impulsivity issues and whose trust I’d spent months working to gain, was excited and spoke out of turn again.
*Tell him he has a detention,* my earpiece commanded. At which point the boy stood up and pointed to the back of the room, where the three classroom *coaches* huddled around a walkie talkie.
*Miss: don’t listen to them! You be you. Talk to me! I’m a person! Be a person, Miss. Be you!*”
Teachers, when you look back ten, fifteen or twenty years, did you ever imagine it could ever come to this?
And yet it has.
New Zealand teachers please don’t be complacent and think this is just the Americans, we wouldn’t ever do this. We are not immune to madcap and ill-thought-out education reforms, nor are we immune to the lure of the chance to make a dollar or two from selling snake oil. This will especially be a danger once the TPPA is signed and free trade overrides education policy.
KIPP charter school chain, who sell this method, have their beady eye on NZ and have been here to visit business groups and the Minister…
Like it or not, one way or another, US education
reforms deforms seem to eventually find their way to Aotearoa, no matter how far away they seem at the start.
Unless you want an earpiece, three coaches and a complete castration of your teaching skills, you must actively resist.
Kia kaha, teachers. Stay strong.