Sunday, April 2, 2017

Let the sun climb, oh, burn 'way my mask (Pearl Jam)


I stumbled on the word while proofing an essay by one of my colleagues - let's call her 'Mandy', who's fighting her way towards a Masters degree in educational leadership/management, bless her little cotton socks.

Anyway - I noticed the word and quietly choked on my peanut butter encrusted crusket. I am NOT a fan of these buzz words.

For a sec I thought she may have coined it herself but, no - she assured me that it was a thing. To prove it, Mandy gave me a book called 'Teacherpreneurs -Innovative teachers who lead but don't leave'.  Oh my.

Coincidentally, I read an Edutopia piece on it and, lo - it does, alack alas, appear to be a current thing.

What is a T*r? Well, according to the three people who co-wrote this book, it's a teacher (doh) who has 'time, space, and incentives to incubate big pedagogical and policy ideas and...execute them'.

These lucky t*rs spread new ways and approaches as mentors, action researchers, blah blah blah. While still teaching. 

Really? As a concept, it all sounds a tad forced to me. 

While reading the book, it was tough to get a feel for how a T*r is different to a decent Specialist Classroom Teacher (shout out to Greg) or a Director of Innovation (shout out to Toni) or an expert teacher who has cool ideas (shout out to Ange, Mandy, Greg, Amy and on and on).

I guess their definition wipes out a lot of worthy teachers who don't have the luxury of 'time, space, incentives' to innovate. Of course provision of these things can allow expert teachers to shine, to be innovative. Not rocket science, is it!

Ultimately, it appears that t*r is a bit like mercury - just when you feel like you have a bead on it, it changes shape on you and becomes liquid - like that quicksilver like dude in Terminator 2 who goes about morphing into other things.

I suppose I just don't see the point in the label. 

Maybe I'm being too harsh. After all, I guess it doesn't do any harm. If you are involved in thinking how things can be done better while putting in the hard yards as a practitioner, frinstance: maybe you're part of a change action group in your school, then - hurrah - you may very well want to give yourself a teacherpreneur label.

Or you could be really innovative, and just get on with it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So I have finally got around to reading your blog... Firstly, this person called Mandy sounds awesome and I think she deserves a raise. I will pass your harsh and under-reviewed critique of his life's work onto Barnett Berry, the author of this book. In the meantime, I hope you will look forward to hearing the word 'teacherpreneur' around a lot as I'm sure many people will suddenly use this work more and more around the work place (: