Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Just Follow the Script:Teaching by Textbook!

I tried.
I really tried.
Maybe there is something wrong with me.

I mean who wouldn't want a nice, new, clean book with every word you should say written out in nice, clean, bold text?

Who wouldn't want each lesson guided?
Each lesson telling you what to do, how to do it, and when to do it?

I tried.
I couldn't do it.

When it told me to say certain words, I found myself saying other words.
When it told me how to write something on the board, I was adding things, making comments.

No, that's not what I am supposed to do.
I am supposed to follow the script.
Why can't I realize that it makes me a better teacher? My life easier? The kids better learners?

Why, oh why, can't I follow the script?

photo credit: woodleywonderworks via photopin cc


  1. My sympathies to you! I couldn't do it either.. luckily for me I was within years of retirement so I muddled through it, hoping the kids wouldn't be stripped of a quality education and did my very best where I could get by without the scripts. Then I retired!

  2. I thought it might have been you! ;)

  3. I can't either! I can't even write & stick to my own script in my lesson plans! Every class is so different that I'm constantly changing & adjusting... and reinventing the wheel every year!

  4. Perhaps it is because this expectation of the teacher flies in the face of what we are supposed to be creating in our learners. Creative, curious, collaborative risk takers that thrive on thinking and working outside of the box. How on earth are we supposed to achieve the latter if one allows oneself to become an automaton?

  5. You couldn't do it because you are creative, innovative, and brilliant and because you adapt to meet your students' needs. Shame on you! :) Like one of your other readers, I couldn't stick to my OWN script, let alone a recommend script prepared by someone who doesn't know my students or what they know and are able to do. Your students are lucky indeed! Carry on with your inabilities!!!!

  6. I just had this conversation with my principal. I got into trouble for making a public negative comment about our new math series (common rotten core). I told him that I felt like I was being shoved into this tiny cookie cutter box that I wasn't allowed out of. I don't do well with scripted curriculums at all.

  7. Exactly the reason I taught private music lessons for 40+ years rather than working in a school system. If you want to be able to think freely out of the box, to me you simply have to stay OUT of the box.

    Even the concept of a Teacher's Guidebook strikes me as a bit odd. I mean, if a 'teacher' DOES need a guide, I would suggest what they REALLY need is another career. A canned script would only work for the person who wrote it and only for the time they wrote it. Try to apply it to a different person, or on the same person but on a different day... won't work!

    Then what?

    Lisa and other true teachers; our greatest asset is our ability to THINK for ourselves and to creatively adapt to just about any situation that comes up. Let this also be our greatest legacy to our students!

    All the best from Toronto,

    1. A teacher using a guide does not necessarily need a new career. The guide is simply a resource or a jumping off point from which a teacher creatively adapts to just about any situation.

  8. It is reassuring to hear others also feel stifled when handed a curriculum they are to follow. Who actually wrote down these words they think I need to say to the students sitting before me?
    Even more alarming is the effect it will have on teachers just entering the field. I hope we get back to trusting the wisdom of educators to actually educate those in their classrooms.