In 2013, I wrote “The 5 Characteristics of a Change Agent“, and the more I think about that post, the more it seems necessary that all educators look at themselves in this way. It is not that we haven’t experienced change in the world before, it is that we are experiencing it at a rate quicker than ever. Think about it…the first iPhone was made in 2007, and was greatly limited in what it could do then, compared to what it could do then. But we still marvelled at it. The only constant we have in our world is change, so we need to prepare ourselves and our students to be able to embrace this.
Here are some ideas and links that might help you on your journey.
Share your story with the world and start a blog. Forward thinkers often spend a lot of time looking back as well. Reflection is crucial. Here are 5 Ideas to Help You Blog.
Try new things with the focus of “what is best for this learner”. Would you want to be a learner in your own classroom? This is a question that you shouldn’t just ask once a day, but always have in the back of your mind. Try to see things from a student’s perspective, and focus on how you can make things better for each learner we serve. One of the best PD opportunities any teacher can have is to shadow a student through a whole day of school. What would that tell you and what would it drive you to do?
Become comfortable with being uncomfortable. We challenge our students to think differently and go outside of our comfort zones, but doesn’t it seem that this is easier for kids than it is adults? Here is a great article on how “Being Uncomfortable Can Make You Grow“. Read it. Or at least check out the image from Sylvia Duckworth below.
Challenge ideas and ask questions…lots of questions. One thing that I would always say to my staff is that I cannot solve problems that don’t exist. Yet many people are held back on their perception that someone else will say no to their idea. You never know what you can do, unless you ask, and we don’t have to do what we have always done. The next time you walk into your school, look at it with “fresh eyes“; pretend you have never been there before. What would you do different? What would the words on the walls tell you? Here is a great article on teaching spelling tests that asks if they are really helping. Don’t just think about the article, but think about all practices. We have to think about why we do what we do, not just blindly do it.
See yourself as an innovator. In my book, “The Innovator’s Mindset“, I believe that all educators can be innovators. Often what is holding us back is our own thinking, not someone else. What will you create with what you know?
Think Different. Watch the video below. What legacy do you want to leave in the world?
Notice it ends with a child? That is part of your legacy.
You don’t have to do everything that I have listed above. Every journey starts with one step. But whatever you do, don’t do nothing.