I know too many teachers who simply won't even engage in a conversation. There are a lot of topics that are simply off-side.
Teaching is a sensitive topic.
We own our teaching, and so it is easy to personalize it all. And if our teaching is that personal, it's not easy to admit that we are less than perfect - especially if we've done it for more than 10 years.
If you've taught for 10 plus years, and if you haven't figured things out, what have you been doing?
And yet, deep down we all know that time and experience shouldn't solidify a false confidence; rather, the best teachers teach year after year because they know they'll never really stop learning. They'll never stop improving because there is no finish line.
If the kids change year after year, and they do, then there is no one way of doing things. Standardization was just as wrong in 1910 as it is in 2010.
But does that mean anything goes?
Is there such thing as bad teaching?
Are teachers given a pedagogical blank cheque?
While it is true there is more than one way to skin a cat, it's also true that cats don't really have a say in how their skinned, while kids should have a say in how they are educated.
In other words, the inconvenient conversations we educators shy away from the most are the very discussions we need to have the most. And if our educational leaders prefer to avoid these conversations, real reform is a long way off.