I think I love a meal deal. Quick, easy, cheap and does the job. Well, that’s until I am stood in the shop faced with the same mediocre choices, trying to ensure I meet my whole families demands whilst also delivering the correct criteria to receive the discounts at the till. Also, my husband has 2 meal deals as he is bigger (wanting more carbs) and we are supplied with an excess snack and drink. Plus, FIVE meal deals later it’s expensive!
As my family eat their ‘picnic’ I feel a combination of shame and disappointment. Their needs are met but it could be so much better and we’re somewhat missing the point…
It is the same with curriculum. The noise in education is loud, the demand to get it right is even louder. We therefore dutifully collect the elements from the pre-existing shelf. Before we know it, we have a curriculum that ticks all the boxes but somehow isn’t fulfilling and doesn’t feel right…
The dangers of perfectionism
Katie Novak wisely states, ‘Don’t be paralysed by perfection-it leads to a mediocre existence’.
We are crippled by the notion of ‘demand’, the criteria set out by the inspectorate on which our worth will be judged. This burden leads to a culture of perfectionism. Schools choose ‘agreed’ and sometimes ‘on trend’ elements which we hope will ensure we don’t fail. As a professional experience this process is often mediocre at best.
Why the meal deal is not fulfilling
The fact is teaching is messy, every classroom, every community and every child is different. Applying set formula will never work in an evolving, chaotic and beautiful world. If my husband needs more carbs, he should make another sandwich. Less waste, more satisfaction.
What’s in your school’s meal deal?
Let’s not get carried away here. We still need a balanced diet regardless of what our meal deal looks like. Whilst education ‘meal deals’ may look different some core elements will not and should not change.
What does need to change is the desire to duplicate, resisting the comfort of ensuring that you have ticked all the appropriate criteria to be rewarded the discount at the till.
We need to consciously look and observe our communities, our staff, our pupils and develop a diet that is right for them. They might need more fruit, they might need some extra sushi and dare I say it they might even need more chocolate and crisps.
We need to resist the alure of the supermarket, use our experience and skill in the kitchen and lovingly develop a picnic that we know is best.