It’s been a while since I have posted, the reasons are many. However, none of those reasons are very valid. I just found it impractical to write. This is one of the easiest, and one of the most prevalent, excuses we can use in order to stop ourselves from doing the most worth while things.
I started the school year, way back in September, being impractical. I had big plans, cool ideas, sound theory. As the year went on, until about march I moved forward with these plans and really improved my teaching. At this point I started speaking up in staff meetings.
I was at a new school this past year. I read a post somewhere that said the best way to approach a new job is too keep your head down and really focus on doing a good job for 6 months, then start making noise and show what you can do.
I started sharing my ideas in meetings, offering suggestions for collaborative education, group work, new ways to evaluate and deal with students. I was nervous to speak the first time, I don’t often get nervous. It turns out I was right to be nervous.
I was scoffed at, laughed at, told that my ideas were impractical, that my ideas were great in theory but would never actually work. This was all despite actually doing these things in my class. Despite reams of research backing up my work.
I spoke up at the meetings for a period of about 3 months before I gave up, something else I don’t often do. I feel bad about not speaking up. The school was better for me speaking, and worse off when I stopped.
Teaching is undergoing some fundamental shifts. We need a new way of doing things. Those new things are impractical when taken in the current context of education. We need more technology, more student voice, more student choice, more group work, more life lessons, more subjectivity.
It’s difficult, its expensive, it’s impractical. It’s worth it.
We need school leaders who can shape school culture. We need teachers who are OK with a little chaos and a lot of change. It can no longer be OK to use the same lesson plans. It was OK for a while, but those old lesson plans serve a purpose we don’t need any more.
We need an educational approach that shapes our students into problem-solvers and leaders. We need innovators and change makers.
Our world is constantly changing, new careers are popping up every day. University degrees fail to make good on the promises of the past. Our students need their passions ignited, not our passions that we choose to show them, but through our guidance through their own journey.
Be impractical, do things the hard way. Our students need us to take risks.
“People that are really very weird can get into sensitive positions and have a tremendous impact on history” ~ Dan Quayle