Change is hard. Change requires people to move outside of their comfort zone, not only move outside of it but hang out there. People willing to change need to commit to not only sticking their toes into the unknown, but agree to marinate in the unexplored, newly implemented, discomfort zone until they become one with the unknown and make it their own.
The definition of change, according to the dictionary is the act, or instance, of making or becoming different. Throughout our careers as educators we have witnessed a lot of change; change in curriculum, standards, best practices, and trends. The one constant has always been that there will be change.
“Without change there is no innovation, creativity, or incentive for improvement. Those who initiate change will have a better opportunity to manage the change that is inevitable.” -William Pollard
In society there has been many changes. We embrace changes that allow humans to advance and be treated equally. Why then do we, as educators, resist change that allows our students to advance? The traditional approach is not engaging today’s learners. Our learners live in the personalize generation. Everything from their food, to their music, clothing, and even their phones is a part of their unique brand. They demand to be different and as educators we can’t expect students to embrace the cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all, lecture. We need to give them variety and choice.”
“Teachers will not be replaced by technology, but teachers who do not use technology will be replaced by those who do.” – Hari Krishna Arya, India
A very wise person once shared the above quote with me. I took it to heart and began my journey towards change. We live and work in an age where everything in public education is uncertain. We need to do our best to give the students in our charge the very best opportunities. What have you done to embrace change this year? Have you tried a new tool? Implemented a new instructional model? Research a new best practice? Or are you using the same bag of tricks you’ve had since student teaching?
Change doesn’t come easy for many. However fighting inevitable change is like trying to push a car up a mountainside in neutral. My first experiences with technology were far from pretty. I had some rough experiences and I learned quickly that failure is to be expected. Do we ever require our students to get content correct prior to studying, practicing, and remediating with their teachers? No! So why is it that educators feel the need to be perfect all the time? We need to embrace a community of learning, not just for our students, but for ourselves as well. We need to encourage everyone to take risks, set goals, and work towards them.
Perhaps we need to stop dragging our toes in the sand, and start blurring those lines as we push off to a new reality.