Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Frozen By.....???

I'm not sure interesting is the word that I want for today, but I can't quite figure out what would be better.

On one hand, my first blog post for Voices from the Learning Revolution was published, and I am still pinching myself. One the other hand I spent my day at our summer building inservice, and I feel like a lot of the information being discussed was exactly the opposite of what I wrote.

We have a pretty unique opportunity at our school. We have the chance to start from scratch: brand new building, brand new teaching assignments, brand new teams - even for people who did not switch grade levels, things are changing. But as I listened to people talk today, I heard so much of what has been done for the last 20 to 30 years.

I've changed a lot in the past year, and I disagreed with a lot of the things that were being discussed today. For some things I spoke up, for others I kept my thoughts to myself. This is not the way I choose to run my classroom any more, and I know that if we expect schools to change and better meet the future needs of our students we need to help other teachers change, too. But how?

How exactly do you express your beliefs and try to persuade others to do things differently when they seem frozen by fear of change, by the inability to see a new picture, or by their belief system? How do you speak up without being perceived as a pushy know-it-all or a loud mouth? I see myself trying to gently nudge others to change their direction and, when they just don't budge, giving up and going in that direction with the others who already see that it's what's best for kids. But that can't be good because that means many kids aren't getting what we think they need.

Am I frozen by fear? By insecurity? Who am I to say this is what's best for kids? Am I so worried that people won't like me that I'm not willing to speak out for what is right by our students?

I recognize that if we're going to really step up and make a change, now is the time to do it. I guess the big question is HOW?


Nancy C said...

When we want to see change we have to walk that fine line. Some people are not ready and will resist no matter what you do. I think by taking baby steps we can make a difference. By working with a few teachers at a time or even one may be a way to start.

I think you want to see change because you care - because you are a lifelong learner. It is not okay to do things because "that's the way they always have been done!".

Someone suggested to me that If you can find some research to back up your ideas it may help as well.

Wishing you lots of luck. You have your students' best interest at heart, therefore, you will succeed in making a difference!

Becky Bair said...

You hit the nail on the head - it's the way it's always been done just isn't going to cut it for our kids. Finding research is a good point, and even though I know that a test does not tell me everything about the kids those are the numbers that matter. So I will use them to work for me!

Another thing I've been thinking about it is how the kids can spread the fire, too. They tell their friends, and the friends go to their teachers.... it's like spreading the flu but in a positive way!

Thanks for all your support, and your ideas! They are much appreciated!