This post was originally going to be titled resolutions, but since I don’t really make New Year’s resolutions, that was out. Instead, I tend to set goals. Like the pirate’s code, they’re more like guidelines.
Actually, what prompted me to start thinking about this was a question on the PLP Facebook page. “What is your one word for 2011?” Change? Fight? Fearless? I’ve been thinking about this awhile, and the word that I’ve come up with is revolution. And I am excited.
Regardless if you’re a resolution person, or not, the bottom-line, I think, at this time of year, is how will this year be different than last? What will you do? Will you take the path less travelled? As Nickelback stated,”That first step you take is the longest stride.”
This year will you leave your failures in your past? Will you toss your lesson plan? Will you ask your students what they really want their learning or classroom to look like? Will you create a PLN? Will you become a project-based, learner-centred classroom? Will you leave the stage and become a learner with your students? Will you give reverse instruction a shot? Will you forget teaching to the test? Will you embrace 21st Century skills and create the classroom that your students really need? If you haven’t tried any of these, I double dog dare you. Just one. It may change everything.
In my classroom this year, I plan to continue to push my students to become learners and not simply content absorbers. I want them to realize that what they’re doing in my classroom isn’t a performance for a mark or an exam, it’s for their own development in becoming a life long learner. I’m going to continue to push my students out of their comfort zones, and painstakingly retrain them to believe that they are responsible for their own learning.
I’m going to continue to provide opportunities for them to reflect deeply and practice being both a learner, and a teacher. And I plan to continue to learn with them.
I plan, as much as possible, to have a paperless classroom, and to have my classroom revolve around project-based learning and group interactions. Furthermore, I want to teach them that technology is for much more than entertainment, it’s an incredibly powerful tool for learning and connecting.
I think there’s a revolution coming in education, in many ways. And I plan to be part of it. To be honest, I think we need one. Our schools, in many ways, aren’t what our world needs. As educators, we need to act quickly and thoughtfully, to create educational systems as they should be, rather than have them imposed on us, by people who don’t have a clue about education. This is an area I’m currently giving deep thought to.
So I ask, what are you going to do this year, to help revolutionize the educational system?
Will you ignore what people are saying about teachers? I have met too many great teachers to believe the state of education is as deplorable as they say, especially from those who have never spent a day teaching in a classroom. I honestly think, if someone wants to issue decrees about education, they need to spend a week in my classroom, and do it as well as I do, then we’ll talk. Educators need to be changing our schools, not politicians, or well-meaning businessmen.
This year, will you become the best teacher you can for your students? Even better, will you inspire your students and other educators? Will you change your school? Your division?
Maybe you need to leave your school or division because it won’t support you in giving the best education to your students? Or maybe you need to continue to fight.
This year, in my school, I will continue to advocate for 21st century skills and the classrooms my students need. I will continue to advocate for the technologies my students need to be literate in today’s world. And point other teachers, as gracefully as possible, to the shift in education that is happening. I will continue to teach passionately, with the hope that my student’s excitement will spill over into other classrooms.
How will you make your mark this year? You can always begin the revolution, regardless of who you are, or where you are, or how long you’ve been teaching.
This year, will you connect globally with other educators? Will you connect your students globally? Will you try to change the world? Will you involve your students in real projects that make a difference? And show them they have a voice? Will you broaden their horizons, along with your own? Will you take a risk?
In 2011, I want to help change the world. And show my students they can too. I want to help my students find their voice, and join with others. I want to fight the important battles that need to be fought. I want to connect with teachers across the globe to make a difference, because together, we are strong. It’s time for a united revolution in education, and it starts today.