The Spinning wheels of educational change….

We’ve all been there. Proudly riding your big-kid bike. OK, so it’s got training wheels. Excited for your new freedom pedaling your little heart out only to find yourself not gaining ground. If you grew up on a gravel road like I did where there was plenty of pot holes and washboards to suspend my back tire and thwart my efforts to  ride up and down the driveway you know exactly what I am talking about.

The feeling of trying hard and not getting anywhere hasn’t gone away. I still see it and get just as frustrated as I did as a child. Ironically, the spinning tires aren’t always an accident.

It seems there are many educators, schools, district, etc., who say they want innovation & change. Yes, they have no problem saying how much they desire for this innovation and change but when it comes down to it, they have little to no intentions of actually doing it.

Putting ideas on paper and planning for the implementation is pretty easy. When it comes to actually DOING those things is when it gets tough and that my friend is when people back off from their plans and make as little change as possible. For whatever reason, the big plans for an extreme school make-over become more of a fresh coat of new paint. In fact, if you are lucky it is different color of paint.

“Doing the same thing over and over, yet expecting different results, is the definition of crazy.” I love this quote and find myself hearing it more and more in conversations regarding education. Continuing to use the same curriculum, instructional methods, school facility, etc., expecting to improve student outcomes is ridiculous yet that seems to be exactly what happens time and time again. Taking the traditional method of teaching (direct instruction, desks in rows, teacher dissemination of knowledge, etc.) and wrapping it in a different box with a pretty bow doesn’t  make it new and innovative.

Creativity is thinking up new things. Innovation is doing new things.”

We have to learn to avoid those potholes and as scary as it might be eventually we have to take off the training wheels and travel the road ahead.

You’ll never know if you can ride without training wheels unless you try.

Enjoy the ride 🙂