Sometimes it is better to beg for forgiveness
than it is to ask for permission.
We’ve all heard that before, but we can’t just do what we want, when we want… Sometimes we have to be political, sometimes we have to follow protocol, and sometimes we have no choice but to ask for permission. That said there are times when it really is better to just do it… and beg for forgiveness should the need arise.
If you are going to take this approach in your classroom here are two rules and a suggestion.
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Rule 1: You are choosing this path because you believe it is best practice.
Rule 2: Your choice of path is safe for students to take.
Suggestion: Share your idea with someone you believe will support you in the interest of the rules above.
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Here now is a brief explanation.
Rule 1: If the goal of your actions is to make your job easier, then this is the wrong approach. You need to be doing this for your students. Often we get trapped believing that best practice isn’t easier when actually it can be. For example, we don’t read everything our students write, but we get online and suddenly we think we have to read everything. Create simple, positive rules online and maintain your high expectations… your best practice approach might just make your job easier as an added bonus.
Rule 2: Don’t do something stupid that puts a student in danger or your job on the line. I think this is a self evident rule- the ‘don’t be stupid’ reality check.
Suggestion: Learning conversations and collaboration help put you on the right path. There are other people around you physically or online, who make things happen. Use all the resources available to you and that especially includes people. This can often include asking permission from the right person.
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•Bud the Teacher’s Open Letter to Teachers
•Jennifer D. Jones’ Down In Front