What do you own?

I see it at every conference I have ever been to: “Raise test scores… Watch your students achieve…Get the results you want” … All you have to do is buy this program or purchase access to that site. Every publisher is guilty. Every teacher is prey.

Because what we want most is for our students to achieve. 

The problem is these programs forget the most important variable is that it is humans who teach and learn. No program is “teacher proof” and that if we think it is we are really fooling ourselves. 

While a program, like a formula for a struggling writer, can begin a process for a beginning teacher, it cannot replace the value of mentoring or of beginning teachers figuring out their style and their way. Teachers, if they are to be excellent, must reach out and beyond that which they can do by themselves. 

This means they must break out of programs that map everything out for them. Instead, take what works from one program, from that book, from that teacher you observed. Then take all these things and own them for yourself.

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