Friday, November 25, 2011

Anger is the enemy of instruction

When I watch this commercial, I see the the mad chef as the corporate reformers who wish to control what goes on in the classroom from outside of the classroom by publicly shaming and manipulating teachers.

Phil Jackson represents the educators whose collective knowledge and experience routinely go unrecognized.

The sad irony is that no high performing country has ever become high performing by pursuing strategies that villainize teachers.

In the context of this commercial, Phil Jackson has nothing to gain from confronting the mad chef, and so he smartly just walks away. For a long time, teachers have put up with what I call "initiativitis" which is an acute condition educators experience when flavour of the month proclamations come from education departments on Mount Olympus. In response to these popcorn initiatives, some of the best teachers have simply retreated to their rooms, closed their doors so they could do what they do best -- teach their children.

Because corporate suits have upped the ante, passive defiance will no longer suffice. All it takes for ignorant policies to prevail is for good teachers to say nothing. If teachers are not willing to stand up and refuse their cooperation in an effort to reclaim their profession, no one else will do it for them.

Not even the Zen Master.


  1. We cannot forget fear. That is really what is being done to educators. Either do it this way or you are fired. Do it this way or we will be watching you.

  2. The thesis put forward in has a similar message - affirmation, not vitriolic response - can impact change in belief. You recognize the power of a positive message coming from a corporation. Might some of the corporations involved in the educational dialogue also be interested in helping and supporting student centric learning?

    Martin Goldberg


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