Demonizing the teachers in schools today threatens our future efforts. Not because it drives out all teachers from schools, good, bad & indifferent, but because it undermines teaching as a worthwhile effort. Teaching with old lesson plans isn’t about maintaining the status quo, but an opportunity for remixing learning to match your current population. A global, connected community, sharing their lesson ideas and plans, may serve as the rich topsoil that nurtures growth for teachers and students. Yet, forcing change quickly will cause damage in the long-run.
One superintendent (no longer in that vaunted position after being ousted by an angry small Texas community) once waved her hands in rapid motion in front of her, likening the movement to the speed of change necessary in schools. “If we don’t move this fast to change our schools,” the implication being that those teachers who once enjoyed long tenure in spite of their irrelevance should be shown the door, “then we are failing the children in the ‘pipeline’ NOW.”
Fast change, rapid change, change that transforms lives in a flap of a butterfly’s wings seems necessary. Tom Whitby in a recent blog entry entitled Educator Fear & Discomfort, shares the point:
Individuals who do not adapt and change should never be our educators. The constant in education should be the learning and not the status quo. If society is moving to change at a rapid pace, then we need to develop in our children the skills and abilities to change as well, and that requires the same abilities in the educators who are charged with teaching our children.
Before we can get educators to accept technology as a tool for learning, we may need to change the culture of education. We need to address the fears of the educators that restrict their abilities to teach with relevance.
Then, Education’s wagon is hitched, not to the slow growth of a rose reaching for its bloom, but rather, to the herky-jerky movement a stream longing for a river, scattered by the impromptu march of an army of legislators, businessmen and reformists out to make a dollar. To teach with relevance, it is not the fears of educators that must be addressed, but rather, their hopes and aspirations to empower our children, to come to deep understandings that bloom in their own time.
Nurturing the seeds of learning and growth, our children, requires more than the swift graft of technology onto dying branches suborned and abused through years of stifling change efforts.
True learning is a plant of slow growth, and must undergo and withstand the shocks of reformists, before it may serve as mulch for the minds of others.Adapted and destroyed from George Washington‘s quote
As people committed to learning and teaching, I agree we cannot cast aside any learners, even reluctant ones, as we strive to transform what being educated means in schools.
butterfly wing. http://goo.gl/Y7drHs
Check out Miguel’s Workshop Materials online at http://mglearns.wikispaces.com