From the sidelines but committed to listening and learning, I see so many changes in classrooms. Some are inplace and are being implemented and some are in the talking stages. How wonderful that is! Teachers are looking at best practices for their students away from the “well we’ve always done it that way” and “it seems good enough” to “well it’s something I (teacher) really enjoy,” without looking at the impact on their students. The talk in the lunch room, at faculty meetings and one on one with grade level team mates reflect a changing world in education. Innovation not for the sake of innovation but as an integral part of learning. Leaving that comfort zone and putting oneself out (do what I do not just do as I say, comes to mind!) looking at mistakes head on and knowing that iteration is a plan of action. Morning meeting and calendar routines (shared by my #kinderchat) have been a focus of discussion and change in many classrooms. Looking at the 100th Day of school as it relates to math, passage of time or an exciting milestone that becomes an “event” in the lower grades, challenges hard held beliefs. Holidays, birthdays and special school assemblies become “traditions” and “rituals” and another focus of discussion when schedules are so busy and full. When talking to teachers, administrators, parents and students it would be fascinating to hear their opinions – what to keep, what to let go and why. It’s hard to let go of some, but not of others for each of us. We each have our ideas, our opinions and our “oh I just can’t see that changing.” But in the true understanding of why we do some of the things we do, I think we’ll find the way that’s best for our kids.
George Couros @gcouros wrote The Innovator’s Mindset and writes a blog that continues to help me reflect on teaching, learning and life. This image is one he posted on Twitter.
Are you in the process of “a plan of action” that looks at traditions, rituals and routines in you classroom and school? What best meets the needs of your students?