I was recently sitting with the awesome Nancy Kawaja Kalil (make sure you follow her on Twitter because she is awesome) at a conference in Ontario, and she shared the following picture with me:
What I loved about this picture, is that it is the opposite of the narrative we have heard from many schools that believe shutting down is crucial to learning, where this picture says the opposite. My assumption is that this school doesn’t use technology all of the time, nor does it have zero problems with technology use in school. I am sure that, like in any school, things are not perfect. But this picture shows to me a shift in mindset of an organization more than anything, which ultimately leads to growth and the creation of new ideas.
I sat and listened to Lisa Jones this year, talk about taking three years off for a maternity leave, and come back to school and see significant changes. Wanting to push her own growth as not only a teacher, and a learner, she really shifted her focus on student learning, as opposed to her teaching. It was a great story because it reminded me that every teacher wants to be better for kids, but there is always a lot on their plate. Support is necessary to growth.
But the one thing that really stuck out to me from what she shared was her perspective on how much has changed in three years from someone who was out of the system, who has now returned. If you really think about even the last three years in education, have you not seen a major shift with many organizations? It is really hard to be around the same people or in the same building every day, and not realize how much education has grown, but if we were to take a step back, would we realize that a major shift is happening?
Although I think it is imperative that we continue to push, I also think it is important that we see that many educators and schools are not only wanting a better way for their students, but are creating it. This is especially important to remember and recognize at a time when many teachers are either going into break or finishing school (depending on where you live) and they, like the students, are exhausted.
All great learning organizations see the need for growth, and realize that, like learning, it is a messy and non-linear process. But they also recognize and acknowledge steps made by individuals and the group as a whole, that they have made towards something better. This builds confidence and competence along the way.
No organization in our world is exempt from dealing with the constant of change, but if we all take a step back, there are many areas where we are getting better. I think it is important to stop and acknowledge that along the way.
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