|Road Less Taken - Flickr|
In a blog post I wrote earlier this year, I wrote about the many days that I have contemplated, wondered and worried about the direction of our nation. I also wrote about how competition, ranking and sorting seems to bring out the worst in us collectively as a nation. My message is not a new one, and I believe it is one that is echoed in many other corners of our country. We must do better!
In the past few weeks I have found myself with copious amounts of time to think, driving to Philly for ISTE, and then trips back and forth "home" to Ontario have given me the time and space to mull things over. What my mind is presently stuck on, is how to continue to innovate and improve, push thinking and challenge the status quo, in such a way as to have a meaningful impact on my own learning community, but the much broader learning community as well. I believe that casting a small pebble into a large body of water makes a ripple, and that if enough of us do this we can make a much larger ripple, but it seems to take so long to perceive noticeable change. Patience is not one of my stronger suits, I know this about myself. But in this case, I also happen to think that time is truly of the essence. My children, your children, our children need us to actively engage and participate in shaping a system of education that values the learners and the journey, more than it values individual data points.
This is where I see an opportunity for teacher leaders to play a pivotal role. It is our teacher leaders, individuals who in spite of a myriad of obstacles, and flying in the face of the opinion of many, affect positive and meaningful change each day. Educators that are willing to acknowledge their own shortcomings, and who look far and wide for ways to improve. Risk takers that are willing to make mistakes on their own learning journey. Educators that choose connection over isolation. Leaders that embrace curiosity and cultivate wonder. Teacher leaders - together we are called to be the architects, innovators and creators. We are called upon to inspire, challenge and empower others. So how do we realistically make this a concerted effort?
- Continue to push conventional thinking and wisdom in your schools and in your districts.
- Attend conferences, edcamps and other public gatherings and share your insight, challenge others, and push thinking at these events to consider different perspectives.
- Engage in discourse on social media, blog, join online communities.
- Advocate in your community, and at the state and national level as well.
- Help promote initiatives that are attempting to shift the focus.
These are just 5 steps that we can take, there are certainly more and I hope that you will add your thoughts to the comments below.