You Say You Want a Resolution… (apologies to Lennon/McCartney) — 2 Comments

  1. Well said Tom. Making changes in any educational system can be difficult. As many new teachers come into school systems, any school system, they can be quickly co-opted by the status quo, as often the status quo is very familiar and comfortable to them because it was their lived experience as a student, as you allude to. As a school leader, I have recently seen new teachers reject new forms of assessment practice, just to mention one topic, because they were uncomfortable with these new approaches, primarily because it wasn’t what they experienced when they were a student. Hopefully, as systems continue to evolve and make use of research-based educational evidence, which is a positive trend, removing ineffective teaching practice will become more common place.
    I am reminded of a story I once heard about a young mom who would cut the end off of the ham before placing it into the roaster. When her mother asked why she did that, the daughter replied that this is what you used to do mom. The mother responded that she would do this so that the ham would fit into the roaster. Past practice needs to be evaluated in the light of new educational research. There is so much more known about how children learn and what motivates them to do so than there was even 10 to 15 years ago. The “status quo” maintained in systems is by those who have been around for at least that long and in many cases much longer. Teachers owe it to themselves to consider why it is they do the things they do for their kids, and as Tom recommends, make a change if it isn’t doing what you want it to do. Sometimes you don’t even need to do something new, you just need to stop doing something that is not working for you and your students. If a new practice will make you more effective give it a try. Nothing is more motivating to teachers than finding something that really helps them to help their students. Check out Simon Breakspears “Agile Schools” approach on how to make small, simple, but effective change in your practice. Best of luck in 2019. Happy teaching.

    • Thanks Tony. Glad the post resonated! Love the story as well. Those help folks to make connections. I appreciate Breakspear’s approach. Happy 2019.