I start a lot of sentences with "...but why?"
Mainly because in my role, knowing why a teacher wants to do something allows me to connect them with the right tools for the job...to help their how. In our conversations, I have them explain to me what their vision is and then we work to make it happen. However, I almost always find that the end result they are looking for isn't just a creation or product. They sometimes leave out that it's the baby steps along the way and what each teaches the students that really make the end result what they are looking for. That is why I ask why! I remember those moments with my students. Seeing that spark in their eyes when all of the pieces fall into place - truth be told, I think that is why many of us that became teachers have stayed teachers.
In education, it's easy to get bogged down in the day-to-day minutia and legislative demands. I get that. I do. But I feel that those little things, if allowed to drive the BIG things, can do tremendous damage. So often, decisions are made to do things that are easiest for adults and not best for students. In education, if your why isn't anchored in what's best for students, then Houston, we have a problem.
I'm currently reading two books: School Culture Rewired and The Innovator's Mindset ....the first one was required, the second was personal choice. What I am finding is that there is a little bit of overlap. At the weekly meeting where the first book is discussed, today's activity involved this video:
Immediately I made the connection between this and what I read in the first part of The Innovator's Mindset . In talking about school culture, the question was raised: have schools forgotten their why?
This is EXACTLY what is written on page 18 of The Innovator's Mindset. I feel this is the best question anyone can ask.
I want to take a statement I made earlier in this post and extrapolate.
So often, decisions are made to do things that are easiest for adults and not best for students
I think to move forward, it is about more than this. In education, and in life, we know that no two people are the same. In order to really made a difference, we have to do what is best for each student. Doing that is definitely not easy for adults. But it is rewarding in those moments when you see that student grow.
Individualizing education; personalization; allowing student choice; helping them find their voice; encouraging them to be uncomfortable - that is where learning occurs. That's my why.