After several years of ideating and many months of doing (designing, building, testing, redesigning and rebuilding, etc), we’re finally launching the beta version of our software, Sibme. We were hoping to launch in the wake of a salacious military love-pentagon and just after Thanksgiving, and wouldn’t you know it? As Paulo Coehlo once said, “When a person really desires something, all the universe conspires to help that person to realize his dream.” Ah, conspiracies.
In any event, back to the important thing: Sibme! In case you haven’t had the grand tour yet, here’s what we do: Provide a simple, elegant, private video collaboration platform for schools and institutions so teachers can improve their craft and administrators can do their jobs more efficiently. But let’s set business aside and instead talk about teaching, since that’s our passion and, for most of us here at Sibme, our career.
There’s a lot of talk about how our country’s education system sucks. Schools suck, resources suck, copy machines suck (true), and even our very own teachers suck. Those words, by the way, are not ours–just paraphrased from those who have spent little or no time in the classroom. Maybe we could call those folks, for our entertainment, the edgeoisie (that’s a play on bourgeoisie, in case you missed it). The edgeoisie love to rant against teachers: Fire the crappiest ones and replace them with better ones!…Because we have such a huge pool of excellent-yet-conveniently-out-of-work teachers!
Here at Sibme, we don’t think teachers suck at all. Well, that’s not entirely true. In our first few years of teaching, we humbly and honestly admit that we pretty much, more or less, in no flattering terms, sucked. And what would you expect? We had just over a month of inadequate training before we were thrust into classrooms in some pretty tough schools (the ones where they usually want to fire all the bad teachers).
Throughout our years teaching, we’ve heard repeatedly that teaching is challenging, challenging work, yet, if we want to improve education, we must fire our lowest performing teachers. Maybe so, but before we start calling on firings en masse we should try a less costly and more sustainable approach.
If you’ve ever taught, you know know it’s the hardest-damned job in the world. Yes, that’s a hyperbole, and also a pretty good approximation of the challenge faced by teachers. Let’s stop castigating teachers en masse, and let’s start helping them en masse. And let’s keep using the word en masse and other borrowed French terms.
We have a responsibility to train and develop the teachers in our current education system just like a professional football coach has a responsibility to train and develop his players before he fires them. Although, as Rob watches the reprehensible play of the 3-7 Eagles, he may reconsider that statement.
At Sibme, we’re dedicating ourselves to changing this mindset. We can improve education without massacring our already depleted teaching force. In the proper hands, the powerful tool we’ve created can be used to help both struggling and effective teachers improve. It can even allow teachers and administrators to build their schools together in a more informative and collaborative way. Check us out, and then keep reading our blog. We promise we’ll continue loading it with cleverly written and informative posts along with some satirical videos.
Dave, Dan, and Rob