May 23, 2017
Hope is Not a Tactic
Against my will I watched the movie Deepwater Horizon over the weekend. While this isn’t a blog to review movies, I deeply recommend this movie. For so many reasons, it made me consider myself as a teacher/leader and the response to intervention we do day to day.
In the movie, the protagonist stood up to the BP executives and clearly stated things that he knows need to be fixed on this oil rig. The BP executive follows him back to his office and asks, what didn’t you say? The protagonist responds, running out of fuel as the plane tires touch the ground isn’t smart, then he goes on to give an analogy and say, hope is not a tactic.
I was so struck by this… hope is not a tactic. As I finish year end assessments, final coaching meetings, last intervention sessions with students, am beginning to examine data, and provide evidence for my evaluation, I consider, is hope my tactic? Do I hope that all of the coaching, collaborating, meeting, teaching, assessing will turn into success for each student and their teacher? Do I really have a tactic as I move through my year and just now in the rush of the end, it feels less like a plan and more like a hope?
So as I listen to student read each day over the course of this week, student after student, when I ask them, are you a better reader than you were in September, they say, yes, without hesitation. They confirm it with their words, their beautiful prosody, the evidence so clearly of strategy… and pride. So those mornings, when I got up at five to read something before I came to work so I could share it with a few teachers, that was a tactic. When I spent 15 minutes in a room listening to students read day in and day out, that was a tactic. When I poured over data and professional resources, that was a tactic. When I blogged my heart out for 3o days, that definitely was a tactic. So here’s to our tactics… and our hope. May they continue to grow strong.