Invest in the People that Invest in Students

The article, “How Education Takes Itself Too Seriously” by Jennifer Nicole, is one that could push your thinking and starts with an interesting paragraph:

Education has become a system that revolves around the needs of the adults instead of the needs of the children. We focus on curriculum, assessment, and technology. We focus on content, instruction, and differentiation.

But we fail to focus on what really matters — reaching children.

Education programs fail to address the primary driver of success in the classroom — relationships. They fail to address childhood development and the conditions in which children learn best. They fail to address how to incorporate social and emotional learning into teaching practices.

Then, it ends with this challenge:

It’s time for education to take a backseat to students. Take children seriously instead.

I agree with a lot of what is being said in the article, but I would make a subtle change, and from the reading, I think the author might agree.

It’s time for education to take a backseat to students learners. Take children people seriously instead.

The best educators I have come across know that it is people you need to serve and focus on and why the author focuses on the importance of “relationships” but we tend to get caught up in being an “insert program certified” school as opposed to finding ways to spend our resources (money and time) on focusing and growing people.

Here is what I used to think…We need to always start on what is best for kids.

Here is what I now think…If we want to do what is best for kids, we have to ensure that the people closest to them have what they need to do the best job possible.  You can’t “serve” students unless you “serve” the people that work with them. This is true in all organizations, not just education.

For example, if you are having an issue with a company and you need to get to a point where you ask “Can I speak to the manager?”, that may signify the person that works closest to the customer doesn’t have the same opportunities to do what is right for the person in front of them based on “common sense” which can be lost in “policy.”  By developing and investing time in the people that work closest to students, you are investing in students.  I am not saying any, and every “program” is terrible, but guess who has to implement it?

Invest in the people that work closest with students, and you have invested in kids.

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