Spare change.

This morning we (teachers) watched a great TED talk presented by a young girl named Adora Svitak. You can watch it on this blog, or click this link:

The theme of the morning was addressing change, and why there is resistance to change, staying in ruts, (metaphorically and literally). We collectively read an article titled, “Beyond TTWWADI” by Ian Jukes and Ted McCain (c) The InfoSavvy Group 2007.

Change is good. Change is inevitable. But who decides what changes will take place?

Politically, we elect, and re-elect leaders because we believe they will either change what we think needs changing, or stay with the status quo that works for us, as individuals and corporations (as entities).

Financially, we determine how money shall be spent, saved, or squandered. One man’s fiscal responsibility is another man’s waste, usually because what one man needs isn’t what another man needs. We think in terms of only our own narrow lives.

I really appreciated young Adora’s clearly articulated points. If an adult had made the same points, given the same speech, the message would have been lost. The messenger, in this case, was the message.

During the TTWWADI conversation, I fantasized about a time during the turn-of-the-century when a group of educators sat around a large oak table and discussed how the industrial revolution was going to change students’ educational needs.

Do we need to change ways that we teach and reach students? Yes. And nothing will change my mind about that.

2 thoughts on “Spare change.

  1. I’m currently going round and round with my administrators about how if they don’t hold teachers accountable for not doing their jobs nothing will change. We can have the best curriculum, rituals, routines, etc., but until the staff is held accountable for upholding the mission and vision of the school nothing will change.


  2. It’s such a funny human mix. I see teachers who know what they’re doing, and are master teachers, but are not quite in sync with admin. I see teachers who need a little push, but don’t get the instructional leadership/support. I also see the new, “superstar” teacher who is adored, understandably so, but it can make the old dogs feel flea-bitten. My own mentor when I was a student teacher was in her sixties, and still kept up on all of the best practices instructional strategies, such as workshop, etc., and she knew how to help fledgling teachers find their wings. One of her student teachers even became a principal. Maybe we need more master teachers who are teaching the journeymen, the apprentices–not administrations whose goals may or may not be best instruction, but management. Another of my gurus has said many times the teachers are the best ones to teach other teachers. It’s the teachers who are stubborn, inflexible, and cranky that are missing out on creativity and invention.


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