@TamikaLightening up and going to a more authentic approach to teaching is a great idea, however, my administrators would need to read the Art of Possibility too. They place guidelines such as class plan deadlines, teaching from bell to bell and a certain number of assignments and tests due each grading period so that they have something to refer to if asked by a parent. We are held to a higher standard by state regulations, as you mentioned, district policies and parent concerns which sometimes dampen our ability to authenticate our teaching style. What a marvelous concept it is to just let us teach from the heart.
I completely agree with you. We need to do a self-assessment of what we need to do better in all parts of our life so we can modify some things in our external environment. I think that self-criticism is something that we, human beings are not accustomed to do. It is better to see someone else’s backyard than our own. Our comfort zone is full of opinions about others attitude, work, and behavior but, what about us? What do we need to improve of ourselves? I think that sitting in a chair, criticizing and blaming others will never change anything we need to make a self assessment time to time and try to improve our attitude being positive and proactive.
Excellent summary and interesting questions that you pose. It would be good to revisit the original objectives that brought about such a focus on standards and testing as a way to "ensure" quality education. It's not only the special needs students who have been marginalized by this move, but education itself. The original intent to better promote educational excellent is valid but the method have taken us down a road that only helps the bean-counters and statisticians.