Today’s #edchat topic was what about the barriers and policies in education that educators deal with. In thinking back, my final comment to the group was “Be an agent of change for your student's learning and not just a complainer!” I have had some time to reflect on this and I wanted to give this a little more of my time to expand on what I meant. Sheryl Nussbaum recent wrote about a similar topic here: http://lhilt.posterous.com/do-something-powerful-to-promote-change I will be the first to say that I am a complainer when it comes to what I don’t have in terms of resources, time, technology, etc. However, I like to think that I am also an agent of change in my building. I will complain about things, but I will also do something about it. With that in mind, I want to put some ideas here that I have done myself that hopefully will help you to become an agent of change in your building.
• Write grants – Don’t complain about not having something if you are not willing to seek out money and help.
• Model new “stuff” – Do things yourself and be your own PR agent. Get other people to see you doing great work with kids that is new and innovative. If there is real value, people will join you.
• Get a PLN – Create a network of teachers that you can go to for support, guidance, and perspective. You don’t have all the answer, but somewhere someone does.
• Attend conferences – Go and find out what other people are doing and how they deal with similar issues.
• Present at conferences – Again, be your own PR agent and bring good press to your class and your school. Share the great work you and your students are doing.
• Talk to your administrators often – Getting your administration on board is key and a must. Has to be a partnership and must approach as a team effort. Key is to always put it in perspective of the students. If you want to change a policy, tell how a change helps students.
• Get allies – Get people in your own building to partner with you on projects and new initiatives. Strength in numbers always helps!
• Remember your customer – With everything you do, remember that the student’s needs trump anything and everything else. Students want change too…and they deserve it. http://gjmueller.tumblr.com/post/2134295478/where-is-my-mind-be-the-change
I leave you with one final thought…more of a question. What are you going to do this week to change the learning opportunities of your students? Don’t complain about what you don’t have, but rather use what you do have. In the slightly mutated words of JFK “Ask not what your administrator can do for you, but ask what you both together can do for your students…”
PS: Even with change needed, I still love what I do, a large majority of the people I work with and especially my twitter PLN…however, we can always do things better and I think we owe it to our students to try.