There were many reasons I began this blog. One was to share professional resources with colleagues (yet it had isolated me from some). Another reason, was to learn to do what kids are already doing today and do it responsibly, so that I can teach it. We live in a 10 second soundbite world where those 10 seconds. used out of context, can really come back to haunt you. Finally, it was a personal (albeit public) way to reflect on my teaching.
When I began, I gave myself a few rules. No pictures of kids faces without their parent’s permission, no politics, and no religion (unless directly related to education), and no complaining about things I directly disagree with at the place I work at. Hopefully, I have kept to those things.
In keeping with one of my rules: no politics, I just wanted to say that even though there are things to change, it takes time. I was fortunate enough to attend a small fundraiser for one of the Senatorial candidates this weekend and it occured to me that when change seems slow, or if it polarizes people, or comes with a lot of obstruction, nothing much gets done.
I look at the time I started teaching, even at the school I currently work at, and there have been tremendous changes. Those changes though, have taken a while to take place. Something that made me question what I do was look ahead at what teaching in the classroom might be like 20 years from now. Not knowing because of a rapidly changing world scared me at first. But becoming willing to adapt, continuing to learn, and finding ways to grow as a teacher has made it a future I am truly optimistic about.
The part I find hard about change is getting everyone to work together towards that. I love design thinking, and models like it, but we don’t get the opportunities to do that enough. And unfortunately, I can sometimes be like a bull in a china shop when I want to get an idea across. I tend to take the shortest route, and head straight at it knocking down things along the way.
One of my favorite reads this summer was a little book called, Ignore Everyone And 39 Other Keys to Creativity by Hugh McLeod. One of the things he writes is, ” The minute you become ready is the minute you stop dreaming. Suddenly it’s no longer about ‘becoming.’ Suddenly it’s about ‘doing.'” Another saying of his is, “One way to stay ahead of the culture is to create the culture.”
At a school though, it takes a village and ignoring everyone really isn’t an option. Educational reform both in public schools and independent schools has taken time over the years. But what we know, the research on how we learn, how the brain works, how we behave, and so on is increasing at a rapid pace. Why is change then, still so slow?