The Cobbler took a break from hammering on the importance of openness and trust within a department to consider again that teacher I outed, anonymously, as believing in the bullshitness of BTSA.

Nobody likes BTSA.

The Cobbler didn’t elaborate why, either.

Of course he thinks it’s bullshit. He’s in the middle of it. When he finishes, then he can judge it. He can’t have perspective on it until he finished.

But you have to be open to ideas. I’ve been doing this for 20-odd years, and every day I learn something new. Every day, I learn something from my students.

In reading your blog, I saw you had some ideas about assessment …

I was open until he said this, because then he lost all credibility. As a student teacher, I shouldn’t make judgements or reflect on assessment? I shouldn’t tell others what I think about assessment, or other subjects of high educational theory?

I didn’t have a problem with anything else he said before or after “I saw you had some ideas.” I am, indeed, open to contrary perspectives, and I welcome any and all not-spam comments. If I didn’t, I’d edit and delete them to my heart’s content, a la the douchenozzle Mr. Fillmore linked to.

I’m willing to bet that all teachers and student teachers make these judgments, even if they don’t take the time to write it down and share it on the Intertubes.

His “some ideas” comment is the precise moment I stopped paying attention. After this, I nodded, laughed and joked at the appropriate moments. Yet “Some ideas” continued to bother me.

As we made our way back to the classroom, away from that table at the end of our second-floor hallway,  I told him why I blogged, and how it addresses all his concerns on trust, collaboration and openness to new ideas:

I blog because I want to be more receptive to ideas, so I can put them down in writing and see how ridiculous they are, and so I can collaborate with teachers all over the place. I’ve already managed to do this.

Moreover, I blog to reflect. It’s kinda the point.

He responded.

O.K.

I’m not sure whether or not he was receptive to this idea. I didn’t get an impression either way.


  1. Tim

    The Cobbler said,…”I’ve been doing this for 20-odd years, and every day I learn something new. Every day, I learn something from my students.”.

    The Cobbler didn’t really say this, did he? Puhleeze! [insert eye roll].

  2. What did he say after he said this?

    “In reading your blog, I saw you had some ideas about assessment …”

    It seems like that goes along with his train of thought that “I see you have some ideas, similar to the ones i learn from my students…”

  3. Mr. Tim: It’s a common perspective. I don’t begrudge him for it, and I don’t disagree.

    Mr. Cochran: He continued the idea of “being open to ideas, rather than close-minded,” and had added, if I remember correctly, something about how I wasn’t open to new ideas, that I thought I had the answer to everything in assessment, and throughout education.

    I couldn’t quote anywhere close to what he actually said, so I stopped attribution with the “some ideas” comment.

  4. Q

    I blog because I want to be more receptive to ideas, so I can put them down in writing and see how ridiculous they are, and so I can collaborate with teachers all over the place.

    Excellent answer. I agree completely (although I have been too chicken to get started just yet).

  5. That’s a pretty-fied version of what I said, but the same message.

    This saga isn’t over, but I’ll be writing about other things and come back to this topic later. These three posts constitute a pretty good arc, for now.

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