5 Things We Have To Stop Pretending

This challenge was given to me by Alice Chen. This is a part of the #MakeSchoolDifferent Challenge. This couldn’t have come at a better time. I have been thinking about all the things that we do to sabotage ourselves as teachers. How can we change education?

flickr photo shared by schoschie under a Creative Commons ( BY ) license

5 Things To Stop Pretending:

  1. “I have a paperless classroom” – Oh, how we love that phrase. But let’s face it, if you’ve recreated that ditto in a digital format, can you really claim to be paperless? Literally, yes. But I believe that ‘paperless’ refers to transformative. That ditto is NOT transformative.
  2. Using any technology is innovative. We need to stop pretending that just because we can claim to be 1:1 or 2:1 does NOT mean we are using technology to it’s full potential. Playing games, or taking AR quizzes, is not innovative.
  3. Stop jumping on every new theory (aka bandwagon). Trends come and go, stop falling into the trend of the moment.
  4. Policies that are created from the top and pushed upon educators are the best practice.
  5. Isolation is good – No need for PLN.


  1. You want to be paperless? Then be innovative. Create lessons and assignments that require deeper thinking. Will all your lessons magically become innovative and ‘rigorous’? No, but little by little you will change the landscape of your classroom, and the learning of your students. Go ahead, try it with just one lesson this week.
  2. Too many times I have seen districts, including my own, get class sets of computers or iPads, with no training. Technology requires a shift in how we view teaching and learning. Let’s focus on good pedagogy rather than the trendy new techie device. Once this shift happens, the cool techie devices are much more relevant in your instruction.
  3. As a whole, education has too often fallen pray to the ‘latest research’. The truth is, good teachers know what works and integrate new teaching practices that are more conducive to their goals. I’m not saying don’t change, just be selective and know WHY you’re doing what you’re doing.
  4. Education policies need to stop being mandated. Whether it’s NCLB or district policies. Conversations with educators, from all levels (admin to para educators), need to be had. We are all in this together. No one group should be dictating policies.
  5. Share! Seriously, what’s the big deal? Some districts/sites have cultivated a culture of singling out teachers for great work. This is fine done in moderation. However, many (like in my district) refuse to give up their best ideas because someone else might do it better. I say if you can make my idea better, do it, then share! Again, we’re all in this together. We’re here to educate our communities, not some egocentric ‘make you feel good’ trip.

I will now challenge 5 #awesomesauce educators to tell us what we should stop pretending. Let’s here from: Kevin Ashworth, Pam Hernandez, Andy Losik, Rea Fearing, and Travis Phelps.

6 thoughts on “5 Things We Have To Stop Pretending

  1. slolifekevin April 26, 2015 / 3:44 pm

    Lisa, I appreciate the honesty and reflection in your post. I think new, shiny devices and the latest trends are appealing to teachers (me). They aren’t inherently bad, but when paired with lack of preparation, support, or pedagogy, they become another dusty binder sitting on a shelf. I’ll be thinking of and composing my list of things to stop pretending this week.

  2. Admin April 26, 2015 / 5:21 pm

    Kevin, I like new shiny toys/devices too. I’m not exempt from that. You’re right, they aren’t bad, but become bad when there is no plan in place (yeah, I’ve been guilty of that too).

  3. Scott McLeod (@mcleod) April 27, 2015 / 4:23 am

    Great list, Lisa. #2 is particularly relevant. I see lots of teachers that use digital learning tools in cringe-inducing ways but they’re proud that they ‘used tech.’ Lots of work still to be done in this area…

    Thanks for participating!

  4. Admin April 27, 2015 / 5:40 am

    Loved the challenge. Got me thinking about all the things that we fool ourselves into thinking is good. Yes, #2 may be the worst offender in Tech Integration.

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