For many people, this word causes discomfort. For me...excitement. It is going to happen, with or without us, so rather than fight it...let's look at it as an opportunity. I have been extremely excited and proud of the educators that I have seen take risks and fail forward. They seem to have a new zeal for their profession and have really enjoyed the process. I celebrate them. As with anything, we are not all lined up at the same starting line, so I celebrate each person's progress from their own point A to their own point B. *Pretty sure I got that from Innovators' Mindset. But there are some that are still frozen at that starting line. What is holding people back from accepting change? From embracing the new? Through many conversations and observations, these are my findings:
1) "Yeah, but...why?": For some people, they don't see a need for change. This is how things are done, it's worked in the past, this is how I learned. Example: Two students go to the same school, five years apart. Two different teachers, one is brand new to the school. This is their science project...
One big thing that has changed at the school, in those five years is that every student has a Chromebook that they take home. Now I know that technology is not the magic bullet, but it can be a great catalyst for a change. A shift in how information is delivered, processed and shown. The above project could be a great opportunity for student choice and creativity. (They did get a choice of cell and materials). When asked, what they learned, both students concurred: "We learned to look up a picture, copy it and label." So, why do we need to change? Because our students should be thinking, learning and understanding. Our students have changed, our world has changed, our future is changed. We should change.
2) "Yeah, but...there isn't time.": A few months back, I was sitting in a teacher's classroom, as she was venting about all of the stacks of papers she needed to grade. My friend and I started offering some ideas on how to decrease that work load to help decrease her stress. Her response : "Yeah, but...I don't have time to change.". We had no words.
3) "Yeah, but...I'm afraid...": It seems like fear comes up a lot. Fear of the unknown, fear of failing, fear of messiness...the list goes on and on. These fears can hold back a lot of good...a lot of great. We need to be ok with being uncomfortable, because we need to model that for our students. Life is messy, we need to help students learn to navigate through change. We need to be agile and adaptive, so that our students can be the same. I write about this in "Time For A Breakthrough..."
4) "Yeah, but...I don't know how..." Everybody was at the "I don't know how" stage at some point, so let's learn from each other. When I don't know something (which is often), my answer is "I don't know that, but I can find someone who does." We are so fortunate in this time, to have a plethora of resources, literally at our fingertips. Twitter, Voxer, Facebook...we have ways of connecting to others that were not available before. Let's work together to create a better future for our students. Education should be about sharing...if we all have the same goal, doing what's best for kids, then we should not hold on to our amazing ideas, we should make them available to all. These ideas can be used as is, tweeked to meet our students' needs or spur new ideas to be shared forward. We can't be afraid to ask others "How". We should be continuous learners along with our students.
5) "Yeah, but...I have to teach the curriculum...": Do we? Do we need to teach the curriculum or do we need to teach students...standards? Covering curriculum is very different then the other two. I go into more detail in this blog post: "Children Don't Come in a Box..." Let's embrace the diversity of our students and change our teaching to meet them.
The "Yeah, but..." statements can go on and on. How can we move past this? We need to always come back to doing what's best for kids. What is best for kids is for us to move forward, as our students move forward. Look at change as an opportunity...
Mother, teacher, TOSA, GCE Level 1 & 2, Encourager of others.
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