I was sitting at a kindergarten NGSS training a few weeks ago and they were discussing the NGSS shifts. Their task was to write a "tweet" about a shift and share it with someone else. One teacher came up to me to show me the hashtag she wrote on hers-#shifthappens. Ever since then, that term has stuck with me. It has so many different meanings...I could write multiple posts, but I will start with one. I am in constant self reflection mode (not sure if this is a good or bad thing) so this post will be a reflection on the shifts in me.
A few days ago, I made this image through #teacherstats and tweeted it out. I was actually quite surprised with the text that I wrote. I don't usually use the word "strong" when I think of myself, and never really thought about my shift in focus, until I wrote it.
Within the last year or so, my shift HAS really changed. I have started looking at education more globaly. Beyond my classroom, school site...even beyond our district. My main shift has become: "How can we create a better experience for our students?" I really want to be part of making this shift in education. Looking at the "350 Students" in that image just seems so small...I want to reach more.
Classrooms need to be student centered.
Students should be creating.
Students need to be talking...to each other.
Students need to be practicing meta cognition...out loud.
Students should be given multiple entry AND exit points.
All students' ideas need to be valued.
Meet students where they are, not the other way around.
Teach to the edges, there is no average.
Students should be engaged and empowered in their learning.
Student voice and choice should be prevalent in the classroom.
Relationships matter, build that foundation.
Create experiences that are relevant.
Foster student passions.
I don't need the "why", I already know that one. Students NEED and DESERVE it. My focus is on HOW can we create these shifts. Where do I fit into it? How can I (one person) affect a large change? I find myself asking the same questions again and again, hoping someone, somewhere will have the answer.
How can we ensure that students are at the center of learning?
How do we help others understand that teaching is not about us, it's about the students?
How do we encourage others of the need for a shift?
How do we deal with those who are digging in their heels?
How do we build capacity in others to help lead the change?
What do we do with our early adopters?
How do we help others move past insecurities and take risks?
I find myself having these conversations with some incredibly savvy educational leaders and it leads me to even more questions. But what I do find is that through these conversations, it creates more small shifts within me. I was never one to have strong opinions, and I NEVER shared my opinions if I had any. This has changed. I am finding my voice...because I believe we need to be "louder" if we want to be heard AND listened to. I have found my voice because I am passionate in doing right by our students.
I always go back to this phrase that my friend, Jon Corippo shared with me a while back: "Use your megaphone for good." So I always try to do that. Whatever forum I am in, I try to help create positive shifts. Whether that is one on one, in front of a crowd, through Twitter, this blog space....I try to convey this message: We need to keep changing FOR and WITH our students. They NEED to be at the center, always." I don't know if I have made a dent...but I will keep trying, because our kids deserve it!
Mother, teacher, TOSA, GCE Level 1 & 2, Encourager of others.
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