10 Comments

  1. Greg (not George!),

    I couldn't agree with you more. The very fact that we are metacognitive about what changes are needed is a great first step. However, there are hundreds of examples of change happening with positive results. It is very easy to point the finger at problem areas and yet it is probably more important to point to the successes and areas of brightness. As I shared with you earlier, education is truly in the hands of the teachers. Regardless of what policies or state testing comes our way, we still control what is done in our classrooms. Based on the people I work with, collaborate with online, and the blogs from teachers I read, I think education is in fine shape and moving in a positive direction.

    There is always room for improvement… but personally as long as there are people out there raising questions and doing what they know is right for student's learning, we will have much to celebrate. Like everything in life, it is an evolution with the best ideas ultimately coming to the forefront.

    Always a joy to read,

    Josh

    • George

      Thanks John (Josh) 😛

      I totally agree with you regarding it being in the hands of teachers in the classroom. My job as an administrator is to do my best to empower them, while getting rid of all the little things that tie their hands in the classroom. I have written before about ridding as much policy from our schools as possible as it only leads to a lack of innovation and does little for "protecting" anyone.

      Thanks for your comment Josh :)

  2. George, I'm so glad you wrote this post! I completely agree. Just over a year ago now, when I started following your tweets and reading your blog posts, I was one of those people that was skeptical if things would ever really change. You taught me though that change is often slow, but by sharing what we're doing and helping others along the way, change really does happen. And you're right. Education isn't perfect, but there is still a lot to celebrate and some good changes that have been made along the way. Thanks for being one of these positive changes! What you do inspires so many of us, and you deserve a big THANK YOU for that!

    Aviva

  3. "Beginning any work activity with a powerful question to connect people with their collective positive core — their strengths – will enhance the likelihood of transformational learning and positive change."

    — Frank J Barrett and Ronald E Fry "Appreciative Inquiry: A Positive Approach to Building Cooperative Capacity"

    The founding principles of the appreciative approach are my compass. You get it. And, I would add that one of the other benefits of becoming more connected is that together we weave the narrative for positive change.

    Shannon

  4. Thanks for the post George and for mentioning our awesome BHS students! We can spend a lot of time on negativity and all it will really accomplish is bringing us down. I agree with your way of handling it and focusing on the many positive things happening in our schools and with some amazing educators and students. We don't accomplish anything when we are in negative-mode!

  5. Debbie Downer here. If the moniker fits….

    Thought I'd take a break from playing with the lump of coal I found in my educational stocking and respond.

    I applaud all of the administrators, principals and teachers who got better technology and all kinds of good stuff for their students. Now for the downer part…. Did all that good stuff come at the expense of some other kids in some other school district? Chances are that it did.

    Our severely disabled daughter, Kid O, was booted out of the school that both she and Kid Q attended at the end of the 2008-2009 school year. For a moment, though, the principal and case manager tried to make it a less bitter experience by saying that the school Kid O would attend was a brand new school that would be completed by the end of summer. That turned out not to be true. There is a new school. It's a brand new Math and Science charter school that is literally a block away from the school Kid O now attends. Those kids have a brand new school and brand new equipment and furniture, and Kid O has a school that is old and dreary. The principal and case manager did not mean to mislead us. I believe they, too, were originally misinformed. For a moment I brightened up. Maybe Kid O would get some new equipment, too. Upon further investigation, I found out that, no, that was not the school they had in mind.

    Last year I sent Kid O to a magnet school. The principal, while giving me a tour of the facilities, boasted to me of their music program. However, because of budget constraints, he had to choose between having a really good program or a non-existent art program. That seems to be a horrible choice to have to make. Kind of like having to choose between children. Which child gets the great music room and which child gets no music room?

    The only way to change this is to redistribute the wealth. We are going to have to come up with ways to see to it that no child is left wanting. As long as school districts are tied to a community's economy, these inequalities will remain in place.

    Again, hats off to all who got resources for their kids. You all deserve much applause. I hope there are more successes like these and less failures. After fighting for almost twelve years for crumbs, it's hard for me not to feel discouraged. Is change only for other people's kids? Now where did I put that lump of coal?

    Sorry, George. some day I hope I have something to celebrate. I am tired of all successes being elsewhere.

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