The mark of a true profession is one that spends just as much time asking why as they do ask how. Teachers can, and do, fill conferences with session after session on how we can grade, how we can make kids comply and how we can get kids to score well on tests.
But at some point, if we truly care about making things better, we have to stop focusing simply on resigning ourselves to the status quo. Just as the best doctors don't just keep doubling the dose of the initial prescription, the best teachers are those who routinely stop and reflect on why they do the things they do.
Ask a parent what their long term goals are for their children, and they will often reply with terms that describe a child's character - they want their kids to be creative, kind, thoughtful, hard working and just. You'd be hard pressed to find a parent who will say that their long term goals for their children involve being compliant, docile, silent and dull.
And yet, many traditional classroom practices encourage exactly that. Grades silence kids from thinking deeply about their learning, while behavior programs are happiest when the kids are seen rather than heard, and testing labels collaboration as cheating. We send all kinds of conflicting messages to kids when our long-term goals are at odds with our practices.
True professionals temper the urge to gain short-term gains such as compliance because they know nothing is worth sabotaging our long-term goals.