Thursday, December 30, 2010

How are you effecting change?

Over the past year there has been a lot of discussion about education reform. I have followed and participated in conversations about this "big picture" item.  Many teachers have felt helpless in the battle of education reform. Indeed, it can be frustrating to feel like a cog, to use a Seth Godin term.

It's easy to get bogged down in "big picture items." However, what about if you looked at the other side: the small picture. The small picture means doing something today to effect change;  Doing something in your own classroom today to effect change; Sharing an idea with a colleague today to effect change; Writing a blog today to effect change; Sharing a resource on Twitter today to effect change.

It is easy to feel helpless when looking at the big picture. However, don't forget the small picture. It could be the change we have been looking for.


  1. "You must be the change you wish to see in the world." (Gandhi)

  2. As an Alberta school board trustee, this is exactly where I am. The only power we have now is to influence and to encourage small, tiny increments of change. My belief and goal is that to move improvement forward - if only a millimeter at a time! If this is so, then it will be a millimeter of ground gained, never to be ceded. It is a battle without weapons, to be won with hearts and minds.

  3. Good point! Thank you for reminding us to keep it small. Enough small changes and we'll eventually get to big change! My small change, which hasn't been small for me so I've been making the change in small steps, is to let student choice determine the direction my classes take.

    I'm trying to find ways to empower my students to take more and more control over their own learning. Some of the small steps I'm taking is to somehow help them overcome years of the opposite. Too many students are used to being passive in school or at least tuned off. I need to show them that I value their ideas and what they want to learn. One way I'm way I'm doing this is by getting my students to ask questions. I want to know what they're curious about.

  4. Alfonso, thanks for your examples. Student choice is so important. Students learn better when they have a choice and input. It is difficult at times for students to adapt to making decisions in class because were always told what to do. Thanks for sharing.

  5. If we are waiting for a big scale change to happen, it never will. Even when decisions are made at the Ministry level, utlimately it is those of us in schools who either make it or don't make it happen. And let's be honest, often when decisions come from the Ministry, those of us in schools remain somewhat resistant if we have not had input in the decision/direction.

    So, I believe it is all of our responsibility to contribute to the big scale change. As each and everyone of us focusses on making small improvements, together we will have created a large scale improvement.

    Let's not allow ourselves to get stalled. Let's keep the train rolling forward!

  6. I really appreciated your post. We look for change to happen and then tend to dig our heals in when it comes our way because we've become comfortable with the old no matter how it's playing out.

    I recently heard this song by Johnny Reid - "Today I'm Going to Try and Change the World".

    I love the line "I made my resolution, I've opened up my eyes, Today I'm going to try and change the world."

    Your world may be your school, your classroom, or the realtionship with one other person - a student, a fellow staff member, a supervisor, a parent, etc. If we've become the change we want to see, change will happen, slowly, but it will happen.

    Today's about making resolutions for the New Year! I'm going to try and change some of my world. How about you?

    I'm stepping down from my soapbox now. Sorry for the rant!