Malpractice: negligence or incompetence on the part of a professional (thanks Wikipedia for your
Mal = BAD
mal + practice = BAD PRACTICE
At the Professional Learning Community Conference in Phoenix, AZ I heard malpractice used as a way to describe what is happening in classrooms and it caused me to stop in my tracks. What?????? No, no, no. Malpractice is what happens when doctors suck at their jobs, not teachers, right?
If any of us went to the doctor complaining of a sort of pain or illness and the doctor chose to use Civil War medicine strategies on us, we would sue the hell out of them. Why? Because of malpractice, of course. Because, since the Civil War new techniques and practices have been developed to treat illnesses, wounds, aches and pains.
Let's switch to the classroom. If we are not professionally continuing to seek out best practices to use in the classroom then we are involved in MALPRACTICE! OMG! This hit me like a ton of bricks. The kids today are NOT the same kids from 10, 15, 20 years ago. And to think that they are is simply naive. Times have changed. Kids have changed. Why haven't we?
Was I responsible for malpractice as a professional? Are you? Are your coworkers? I can tell you right now that a very large percentage of the teachers I know would fall into this category. Scary.
I couldn't help but wonder, why is it that teachers are not sued for malpractice. Because, quite frankly, there are quite a few teachers that are HORRIBLE at their jobs and considering teachers are in the profession that creates all other professions, we should probably be held to a higher bar of accountability. Or should we? Or should the students? ACK! MALPRACTICE!
Here's a thought. Many people have the opportunity to select their doctor. Heck, we can even go online and look at medical doctor's credentials, research, etc. None of us would purposefully choose a doctor that uses leeches and blood letting. Soooooo....what if teachers had a report card that showed what they were good at and students could select which teachers they wanted based off the teacher's credibility and skills? If teachers were paid based off of how many students chose to learn from them, there would be a lot of starving teachers out there. Super scary.
If you are a teacher, you should ask yourself if you have been changing the methodology in your classroom. Are you still doing what "worked" ten/fifteen/twenty years ago? If so, you could be sued for malpractice. Just sayin'.