Do we have enough guts to ask real questions?
Thanks to fellow administrator and blogger / high school director Dave Meister, I ran across this RSA Animate presentation called "Changing Education Paradigms." It happens to line up beautifully with a meeting I had recently in which I was told that several teachers in ISD 191 did not like what I had to say in a recent post called "Our Future Experts of Standing in Line." In response to that feedback, I'd like to offer this intriguing animate video and a couple of thoughts:
First… I believe every one of us in education heads to work each day seeking to do what is right for kids. Put simply - we are all on the same team. We all believe in the importance of education and we all work extremely hard to deliver on that calling. This isn't about who is right and who is wrong – it's about getting real about how to best deliver on our mission. That is something we should all be able to rally for collaboratively.
Second – delivering on our mission with excellence requires creating a "Culture of Greatness" in ISD 191. This means creating an environment in which rigorous debate about what is right is valued and cultivated, an environment in which disciplined people practice disciplined thought and action, and an environment in which the brand of our organization is palpable in every classroom of every building. If raising a few questions about the realities of 2010 is not ok, then we certainly don't have an environment that welcomes good debate. So… rather than take shots, please jump in and join the discussions! I certainly don't have all of the answers about how to best deliver on our mission – but I believe the staff in 191 has them if we put our heads together!! Handling some shots is part of this job, but I am more interested in what you all think about how to move forward. Your wisdom is needed and valued so please jump in!
This educator is committed to improving public education. That does NOT assume those in public education have done something wrong or are bad people. In fact, I have chosen this career largely because of the wonderful people in public education. Most are heros to particular individual students… If others can have rigorous debate about how to make money, politics, how to sell more product, etc… we can certainly have thick enough skin to debate about how to best deliver on the important job of educating children. We simply cannot afford to avoid this debate – it's kids at stake here…
Please watch this animate and offer your thoughts as a comment to this post. Times have changed and we need to respond… yes WE. We are public education… Teachers, EAs, clerical staff, administrators, bus drivers, cooks, custodians, etc… Together we will - we must – come up with the best answers. What are your thoughts? How should we be changing what we do to best deliver on the mission of preparing students for the 21st century??