This afternoon I had the distinct pleasure of participating in one of the opening panel discussions for Connected Educator Month. The discussion, Professional Learning and the Learning Profession, and the month-long forum that goes with it, will focus on how teachers are / should be taking charge of our own learning. We must see the value of continuing to be active learners, and we must take the initiative to seek and participate in our own learning. It's time that we search out what is interesting to us, what will benefit our students, and what will help us grow and learn as individuals.
But more and more, and I wrapped up the conversation with this comment today, I wonder what people are actually doing with all this talk. Are people actually going back to their schools and pushing for change beyond their classroom walls? Daniel Whitt made a great comment. If we really want to see change, we need to be prepared because it's going to be difficult. It's going to be ugly. And bridges will burn. Believe me, I know first hand how those bridges burn. My teammates and I found out when we tried to initiate change in our building this year. It burns, and it gets ugly. But if what we're doing is right for the kids then we must go forward strongly and be prepared for the fires.
Our kids don't need more talk. They need and deserve action from us. They deserve teachers who are positive deviants (I believe that name also came from Daniel during our discussion, but I may be wrong about that) who positively push for and affect change in a slow and stubborn system.
So I ask you, if you are participating in Connected Educators Month, what are your goals? How will you take what you have learned and change what you are doing for kids? How will you make a difference in your school?