Sunday, July 10, 2011

Thoughts from An Idealist

When I was at ISTE two weeks ago, I was able to attend tons of sessions and I noticed a startling pattern: At just about every session when a new idea or strategy was suggested, someone would raise their hand and talk about all the reasons why something wouldn't work or their limitations. After a few days of this, I began to feel really discouraged. 

I would love to see more teachers be unbelievably creative and bold. I would love to hear how more educators are remixing ideas to fit their classrooms. I believe that our students need to see us try, fail and try again because that's the only way they will feel comfortable doing the same. The job market as we previously knew it is rapidly changing. Fortune is on the side of those that are capable of creating opportunity where it didn't previously exist; our students will need to be creative, flexible and innovative. We cannot ask students to use their imaginations and tap into their creativity when we will not do the same. I know that budget cuts, layoffs and internet filters are a realty but shouldn't we try first

Do these thoughts make me an idealist? Maybe so and I'm okay with it :-)


  1. I understand how you feel when people talk about the many reasons why they believe the new strategy won't work. As a classroom teacher, I know that it takes so much time to try something new. You have to plan and finagle and jiggle things around. Then, after all that work, there is a chance that your plans will go awry and everything will flop.

    So what?

    Don't we need to teach our students how to deal with the failure of "best laid plans"? Isn't that a part of the learning process? My students have seen my lessons be less than what I expected. The great thing is, they always help me figure out a way to make them better (even if it is a suggestion to junk it and start all over).

    Plus, there is always the change that what you have created will work. In fact, that happens more often than not.

    I guess what I have to say is that, if you are considered an idealist, well, then I want to be right there with you!

    Have a great day,

  2. Welcome to the club Elizabeth!
    It's always scary to deviate from the way things have "always been done" but I think you're right that sometimes when we take a chance, things end up better than we expected. I think that it's amazing for your students to watch you reflect on what you did well or not so well and try again; and even better that they get to be a part of it! Keep dreaming. Keep trying. Keep failing. Keep creating new paths.