Monday, December 17, 2018

Creating Change in 2019

2018 is almost a wrap and it's been so fun to see what educators are doing to create real learning experiences for their learners.  As we near the end of this year,  I think it's important to consider the potential for new ideas, real change, and innovation that comes with the new year.  What has to happen for real change to to occur?  What does real change look like and how will we know when it is here?

Change means that something must look and feel different.  One definition of different is novel and unusual.  Many of our students are experiencing "business as usual" every day when they go to school and the reality is that the experience should be anything but usual.  It's time for change and not just change, but real, authentic change that can be seen and felt by everyone involved in the school experience.

I wanted to take some time to explore three ways that we can create real change in our classrooms, on our campuses, and in our districts...

Take Risks - Risk-taking can be scary stuff.  It's no secret that taking a risk can sometimes result in  struggle or even failure.  However, if we don't take risks, we will never know what can and will work with today's learners.  Holding on to what is familiar and comfortable results in frustration for our learners that need school to be so much more than just a place that they go to learn things that they can search on Google or learn from YouTube.  Be willing to stick your neck out for them.  Get comfortable being uncomfortable and begin to see risks as opportunities to do what's best for today's learners.

Change your Perspective - What if we saw school as an experience instead of a place? The word experience implies action and by definition, will leave an impression on those that are involved.  Seeing school as an experience shifts our perspective and helps us understand that in order to leave an impression, we must move beyond traditional practices.  Learning for today's students must be authentic and they need to know how they will use what is being learned beyond the walls of the classroom.  Create experiences by giving them opportunities to make those connections as they learn by creating change themselves.  (To learn more about helping learners make connections, check out the latest Meaningful Moment on the podcast.)

Get Connected - We are better together!  There are so many educators doing such great things.  Being connected helps us realize that real change is not only possible, but happening!  Seeing someone else take a risk by changing their perspective often motivates us to do the same.  Make it a priority to see beyond your classroom, your campus, and your district.  Connect with others on social media and seek out networking opportunities.  Instead of making excuses for not being able to do what they are doing, ask questions.  Be willing to learn and stay open-minded as you connect with educators doing things beyond your own comfort zone.  Remember, we all want what's best for today's learners and it's only together that we will be able to create real change.

So, what's stopping us from making 2019 the year that school becomes more than just a place?  Fear, unwillingness, compliance, comfort zones, and complacency...just to name a few.   It's time to move beyond these things and into what we know is best for our learners.

Don’t allow the fear of failure to keep you from being the educator that today’s learners need you to be. Instead, chase after your purpose with a fearless willingness to do what it takes to create real change.


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