Making the Shift

I decided to switch from edublogs to wordpress in hopes of a better format. The more I read, the more I realize how much I want a place to write down my feelings and thoughts of this new adventure I feel I am taking part in. Hopefully wordpress.com will be a good place.

I am so thankful for the experience I have gone through this year. I agreed to take part in a professional development experience called the Powerful Learning Practice which began in September. It has helped me to change and grow as a teacher, but more importantly as a person. I realize now that we are in a time of educational revolution. Whether people know it or not I truly believe that with my heart and soul. It’s scary, exciting, overwhelming, and invigorating. I suppose I sound like one who may enjoy extreme sports like jumping out of an airplane, but I do not. This process, this realization that I am #1 not alone, #2 a learner just like my students, and #3 passionate, truly passionate about education and am in the right field of work has been priceless.

Now, with that being said, it has also been and continues to be a painfully frustrating process at times. At times, I have felt like I have been alone during the day to day struggles. The school culture in an old private institution like the one I work in can be slow to change, very slow. There are really good things about that and really bad things about that. I believe, many teachers that have gotten into education got into it because they like security and didn’t like change…they also like to be in control. I am guilty of all of those things. I am in no way saying all teachers are like that, but many are. However, change is acomin’, it always does. The job you signed up for as a teacher is no longer, most likely, the job you will have. I struggle to share my ideas with my colleagues without overwhelming them. I have been told twice this year that I am “overwhelming.” Why? Because I put forth ideas that are new and use what I think may be a better tool to teach something. Why do teachers feel like they have to do what everyone else is doing? Why do they feel like they have to keep up with the person next door? I just read a blog that put forth the idea of not calling us “teachers” anymore–who knows, maybe that will help people think of themselves differently and open up.

I am being impatient I know. I wish I could make my administrators tell everyone next year that they do not have to do anything new–they just have to be learners. They just have to connect to the outside world, read some blogs, lurk on Twitter, check out some new tools and then meet once a month for some wine or beer to talk about it…casually talk about what they found, what they wondered, what they got scared or angry about.  I wonder how quickly the “Shift” would happen then? I think it would happen pretty quickly.

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3 thoughts on “Making the Shift

  1. I share many of your sentiments, Heidi. While I understand your perspective of just telling people to lurk and follow, the change comes when people do something different. not when they read about it. I have been in meetings where people have embraced cool ideas we have read about/talked about, but then the meeting is over and people default back to what they have been doing. Even ideas that my team agreed upon this summer, like having our classes start to blog, have only been implemented partially, and I have been pushing it at every point. I do not know the answer, but I am with you, my friend.

  2. Heidi – “the courage to change” is what your fellow PLPeep Shelley Wright called it this time last year when she began writing about her Shift experiences. You have a lot of good company – some are writing at PLP’s Voices blog: http://plpnetwork.com/voices/ Hope you’ll soon share some of your story there as well! I agree with Molly that it’s the action that counts — but in the connected age, we would be foolish not to take advantage of the capacity to share, encourage, learn from folks who are headed for the same destination.

  3. Seems to me that the dispositions being loosely joined under the Shift label offer the opportunity for balance between the individual and group minds… collaboration and teamwork, yes, but also inquiry, creativity, analysis, evaluation, discernment… all skills generally associated with the individual, esp. in American culture. We bring the products of our individual effort, creativity, etc. TO the collaboration. That would be the ideal, I’m thinking. Not the hive mind. Resistance has its uses!

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