For the purpose of my questioning, I sought out teachers who have been in DISD for over 10 years. The response was almost the exact opposite of what the 1st year teachers yearned for. Common responses were as follows:
1. "More than anything, I just want to be left alone."
2. "Let me pick what development I want / need."
3. "Worry less about what's happening in my classroom and more about what's happening in the hallway. Let me teach."
This makes sense to me. Many educators have been at it for much longer than the Miles era and will be there long after. For teachers who have been making a difference for kids for decades, I can understand that the "reinvent the wheel" approach is annoying and why they are skeptical.
Lately, the district has been divided into camps of pro v anti Miles with those in the pro Miles camp calling those in the Anti Miles camp lazy and change resistant, while the anti miles folks call the pro miles folks teacher hating sell outs. This isn't helpful or productive and I don't think anyone in a DISD classroom is there because they want to destroy the lives of our children. That said, I wanted to clear the name of veteran teachers who have lately been polarized by all the turmoil in the district.
I asked each of them if they were resistant to new ideas or approaches to education and each and every one of them said "no." "Show me it works. Don't just force me to abandon what's been working for me for years without proof there's a better way," one teacher said.
This sounds reasonable. So does focusing the attention on teachers that are begging for it instead of forcing it on those that don't. If you can prove your methods, perhaps that should be celebrated and shared. Like I've said before, there's room for all approaches in Dallas Education.