What is Expertise Worth?

I’ve been exploring the changing nature of expertise for a while and my thinking continues to evolve.

I recently had two experiences with this that still has me working to better understand my relationship both with my expertise and how I value experts.

I went to see my lawyer to discuss a legal matter. I had done some research ahead of time and thought I knew what the right path was but wanted confirmation and perhaps some insight I hadn’t considered. In the end, I spent $150 for an hour of his time to be more or less reassured that my instincts and research were correct. He helped with clarifying some of the language and specifics but I more or less left with the same information and a little more confidence.

Today I saw a physio-therapist to look at my foot. I had been suffering with what I believed was plantar fasciitis for several months. It was at its height of pain about 6 weeks ago and after doing my research and implementing many of the treatments it was slowly getting better. I had a general physical yesterday and I mentioned my heel pain and he suggested an x-ray … Read the rest

When Will We Get Serious about Teacher Stress?

I’m privileged to work with some of the very best educators around the world. I’m continually inspired and in awe of their expertise, energy and commitment to their craft. They are true artists.  I marvel at these artists and the different ways they approach teaching and learning.

Of late, I’ve become acutely aware of one sad commonality among these very good people. Teachers are stressed. One could argue teachers have always been stressed but I’m sensing something new and disturbing. Today’s headline confirms some of my hunches. I’m sure some will read this article and suggest teachers are weak or lazy or manipulative. However, it’s the increase that needs to be noted. Perhaps teachers are taking better care of themselves and thus are taking time to recover rather than bringing their sickness back to the classroom. If that’s the case I see a problem in a job that requires employees to take that much time off.

In Ontario, mental health and well-being is now a mandated goal. While I applaud that move, several educators questioned the strategies suggested that are designed to deal with the stress the system itself created. “Try these mindfulness activities to deal with the crappy things … Read the rest