1. PRETENDING!!! We need to stop pretending period!!
2. FAIR AND EQUAL MEAN THE SAME THING. Over the course of history, we have developed this notion that in order to be fair for everyone, things must be equal. Likewise, being equal means that things are fair. Unfortunately, this is simple not true and WE KNOW IT!! All educators have been through countless professional developments where we have heard this but yet when we return to the recesses of our comfort zones, a large majority of people in schools still practice this archaic philosophy.
3. YOU ONLY GET ONE CHANCE IN REAL LIFE. We need to stop pretending that in the real world you only get one chance. The idea that one opportunity should define a student's ability or capacity for knowledge is simply not real world application. That is not to say that we should not have deadlines for tasks or goals/expectations for completion, however merely to say that students should be given as many opportunities to demonstrate KNOWLEDGE as possible. As in the real world, these multiple efforts or lateness on an assignment would come with a penalty, however the task will have been completed rather than cast off as a zero in a grade book, which is an indication of zero knowledge... simply not true.
4. BEING BETTER MEANS THAT WE ARE BAD. Far too often the human race sees the need for change as a negative. The most successful people and businesses in the world are that way because they are constantly growing and changing. Changing does not mean that things are broken or bad, simply that they can be better. Just because something worked 20 years ago, 7 years ago, or even this year doesn't mean it will work again or can't be done better. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" is a great quote... how about "If it ain't broke, make it better!!"
5. OUR WAY IS BEST. One of my favorite authors, Michael Fullan wrote, "One of life's great ironies is that schools are in the business of teaching and learning, yet they are TERRIBLE at learning from each other." We don't share our knowledge and resources. Sometimes within schools collaboration doesn't exist and certainly between schools and districts it is minimal. We are not in competition with anyone so why aren't we more supportive of each other? We have many talented people in our field, we need to continue to learn from them so that we can all be better!!
Worth the Read...MotivatED - Stories of Teaching and Learning (blog)
5 Things We Have To Stop Pretending (list of blog posts)
Seven Practices for Effective Learning