Saturday, February 25, 2012

Teachers and Change

After watching a recent keynote given by the amazing and talented @stumpteacher ( video here if you want to watch ) and this video by another Twitter legend in my PLN @mrmacnology I am burning to write a post about Teachers and Change.

@stumpteacher makes some great points in his keynote and one thing he brought up was a book by Daniel Pink called Drive.  I am currently reading it and most of my burning is coming from this with the assistance of inspiration from legends like @stumpteacher and @mrmacnology !

As I have been reading the book Drive by Daniel Pink I keep turning to my wife @jcatlett1 and telling her the different stories from the book about motivation and what motivates kids!  We do it all wrong!  And in @stumpteacher 's keynote he talked about how many of us teach like we were taught.  He mentioned when he started teaching that he taught like he was taught and now he is changing!  WE MUST CHANGE!  In all my years as a teacher, principal, coach, and now technology trainer I have never understood where some teachers came from and why they were so resistant to change and connecting with kids.  It is all about connecting with kids.  Bottom line.  If you do not connect with kids on their level they will not work for you and in my opinion they will not respect you!

I loved the dodgeball game analogy used by @stumpteacher in his keynote!  This is so true!  This teacher blasts a kid in the face (by accident I'm sure) and the kids think he is AWESOME!  It happens in dodgeball, kids know that!  They also know if you are purposely throwing at their face or if it was an accident because THEY RESPECT YOU!  I am by no means suggesting that hurting the kid or his feelings in front of the others was the intention in order to have kids think your awesome, but I am suggesting that you GET IN THE GAME!!  You might find that kids will really like that and you might gain some of their respect!

I have played many a dodgeball game, basketball games, football games at recess, or anything, even cards or checkers with kids.  The fact is that I was CONNECTING with kids on their level and they thought I was "COOL".  This is not stated because I am interested in them thinking I'm cool, but it is because I want to gain their respect so we can work together to improve their whole person as a student and who they will become later in life.  This is my concern.

Some teachers are stuck in a rut.  Some teachers are teaching like they were taught.  Our system has us so concerned about standardized tests and not the kids.  It bothers me to think some teachers might try changing if they knew they could or did not feel like they can't based on having to keep up with curriculum and preparing for standardized tests.  There is no question CHANGE is hard for people, but in my educational journey from teacher to principal,  back to teacher, and now to instructional technology teacher, all of these CHANGES have been good for me as an educator and have taught me different things and have kept me motivated to be a learner and an educator.

I wish there was a magic wand I could wave to get teachers to see what I see.  To see what legends like @stumpteacher & @mrmacnology see in education and connecting with kids.  It honestly is not that hard.  In the meantime, I will keep reading Daniel Pink and being inspired by other amazing educators like Josh and Jeremy.  (Thanks goes to Twitter for finding these guys & their videos they shared, that evil Social Media, wink)

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