I drove to meet friends in New Orleans last weekend.¬† From Houston, this is a six-hour trip, one way.¬† The traffic congestion in Houston took a while to clear but eventually I was on the open road.¬† Mmmm‚Ä¶ I really like the open road.¬† You have a broad view of where you are and where you are going (unless you are behind a big SUV).¬† The horizon stretches out before you, you are the master of your destiny and you are going somewhere‚Ä¶
Driving on a longer trip instills a different mindset for me than my usual commuter and errand runs.¬† If something goes wrong, I‚Äôm not near anyone I know.¬† So, I make sure that I have enough gas.¬† I check my tires for air.¬† If there is a major item that needs repair, I address it before I leave home.¬† I have a general game plan for my route. ¬†And, I set the pace, the starts, the stops and I enjoy the destination.
As I make my way, I get to know other drivers.¬† Sometimes I find a small group of cars who are running the same speed and we form a loose camaraderie. ¬†¬†Other times, I drive along independently.¬† As I drove, I was struck with the idea of how this matches education.¬† Do we have a commuter mindset or a long-haul mindset when we think about the education system?¬† Are we even conscious of the difference?
Many educators lament the tests and accountability as the downfall of public education.¬† One friend recently forwarded the blog apology from a teacher in New York State to her students.¬† As I was partially educated in NY (grades 7-12), I read it.¬†¬† Ruth Ann Dandrea wrote: