Perception…the way in which something is regarded, understood, or interpreted.
Often it’s really weird to consider how others potentially think of you. Personally I don’t really give that much of a stuff. I try to be true to me but there are moments which bring it into clarity. I caused surprise yesterday by standing up against something I thought was profoundly wrong, probably because the action defended a school I probably disagree with in some ways (Who knows… I’ve not visited or spoken to the head or the staff or the children.)
Let’s be clear disagreeing with something a school does is OK. I’m sure lots would disagree with the things we do in our school. How we disagree is the issue. The real problem is that twitter “discussions” often polarize and people stop actually listening to what’s being said, then it very quickly stops being a discussion. We don’t get a reasoned conversation that you might get face to face; instead we build our forts retreat inside and hurl bricks at our perceived enemies.
Stopping to think about how others perceive us is interesting. As with everything there are elements of truth and fantasy to how people see you. Having had a few visitors this week including Ofsted. I have to wonder if the reality matches the perception. (It is a scary thought).
I’ve equally visited ‘amazing’ schools but wouldn’t want to be like them even though they’re doing great things. They will and should make choices which are right for them I just don’t want to be like them. I feel very lucky that our MAT gives us autonomy to get it right for our school community. (I had less autonomy when we were an LA school though being RI may have had something to do with that.)
Personally I worry every time someone visits our school. I think the worst thing you can do is attempt to make mini-replicas and pastiches of a place you visit. I use others work as a lens to reflect on our work, what we don’t do is try to copy it…invariably that fails in my experience.
Edutwitter is all for polar opposites, it makes a better argument. Fact is we’re all somewhere on a sliding scale. Having met quite a few ‘edutwittery’ types from across the spectrum it’s often surprising that we have more in common than we may initially think we will have. Often in reality there is little more than fag-paper between us and almost everyone I’ve met is doing what they do for the right reasons even if I don’t necessarily agree with how they’re doing it.
Ultimately I think we all want children to achieve the best that they can, it’s just we don’t always agree about what is the best way to do that and that is actually OK.