A fascinating perspective about education and the army, and whether we should showcase or hide the early missteps one takes as they set out on their own in a profession for the first time.

Thanks for sharing this, Art! I find this perspective really interesting and it has me thinking a lot about how we encourage risk-taking and how we support all teachers, new and veteran, in both exploring and growing as well as “learning the ropes” as they go.

One thing that concerns me at first glance with hiding a new teacher’s evaluations is that it seems to send the message that the risk-taking and fumbling along the way is something that requires hiding. I love where you’re going with the first part of this – a mindset of risk-taking is essential to learning & growth – but if we are truly valuing these missteps along the way we should be celebrating them, not hiding them. I think it also sends a message to new teachers that there is something innately wrong when they do “mess up”, and it could situate veteran teachers to not discuss those mistakes that were essential in them becoming the teachers they are. We should be telling ALL teachers, new and veteran, to take risks, to learn from the failures we all experience, to find their way as learners and embrace every part of this process. In doing so, we not only model something incredibly powerful for our colleagues, but also for our students.

Journeymen Teachers Need Room to Grow – By Art La Flamme


  1. If assessments (and evaluations) were truly only used as that – to assess – I would agree, wholeheartedly.

    But they aren’t.

    I would offer, though, that my point is to look at those early, junior years of a teacher as a journeyman period, as you talk, and for us to look at ways in which the profession as a whole can grow and change to embrace and celebrate this period, just as you have described. Hiding evaluations may not be necessary – that’s much more of an Army thing, since the Army actually has a centralized system for evals – but what more can or should be done to shift what is done for junior teachers, beyond, say, a paid “mentor” or coach for 1st year Ts?

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