I have been engaged in a great deal of reading, thinking and discourse about change in our classrooms, schools, districts. Although ideas from three books pushed my thinking : Coherence ( Fullan ), Switch (Chip and Dan Heath) and Innovators Mindset (George Couros), it was Innovators Mindset that made the greatest impact. “Change isn’t something you do to someone else, it’s something you experience. So my current thinking is “I can begin to change me. I can make change in my classroom. I can show my students that I can take risks and solve problems just like I ‘m asking them to to do. I ,the teacher, can innovate. I can make the environment of my classroom better and different, I can make my instruction better and different and I can make what my students learn better and different! Whenever teachers do that for their students , they are INNOVATING LEARNING, creating change.
Everything I just said is true of our work with our colleagues. When we collaborate with a common goal we are innovating the learning process. I am feeling that way with the new group of colleagues I have found through the Mount Holyoke Teacher Leadership program. I feel that when I take what I learn from my PLN on Twitter and use it to change my practice I am, through collaboration, “innovating ” the learning process because I take what I learn and use it to make something new, something better and different .
When I think about this looking through an NGSS lens, I think of the first piece of instruction I created for 4th graders around “energy” This piece was built about two years ago, piloted, multiple times and it is still being changed as my learning gets deeper. I want it to be an awesome piece that I and others can use to make science engaging meaningful, relevant for ALL students.
What I have described wont all happen at once and not every person will join in excitedly, but if you start small, taking baby steps, change will begin to happen. I think about Hansel and Gretel and the leaving of breadcrumbs , creating a path to follow. People will find begin to find their way.
Lets celebrate summer by figuring out how we are going to be innovators of learning !