It's there a lot on my Twitter feed.
And that's great. Really. It's a nicer environment for my classroom when we all get along. But it has the possibility of creating a culture of yes-people who answer with the right words but really aren't empowered or inspired to do the things discussed.
Thinking positively doesn't always change things. We learn best when we are challenged, when we are uncomfortable, and when we have to construct new meanings in our world. Occasionally on Twitter, that doesn't seem to ring true. I appreciate it when people challenge the status quo.
We need to re-examine our twitter feeds and our ideas about educational transformation as part of our New Year's resolutions and rethink. We need to look towards student-centered, teacher-inspired ideas that can help us change from the bottom-up at the same time that we are focused on top-down policies and programs.
Where are you going to do that this year? How are you going to seek out the new ideas, and find those people who challenge your thinking? Perhaps you can join the NSTA Learning Center, the community at the Teaching Channel or the Collaboratory at the Center for Teaching Quality, and perhaps some people in your own building that have viewpoints different from your own. We become richer as we expand our horizons.
So for this year, I'm learning more about being positive:
- I'm positive I'm going to act in the best interests of students.
- I'm positive that I will try to do this with humility and kindness.
- I'm positive I'm going to go beyond what is easiest to what is right.
- I'm positive that I will ask for a seat at the educational table as an equal. My skill set may be different than yours, but we are both educators. Our experiences, together, will make a difference for kids.
- I'm positive that I would rather make mistakes and learn rather than sit back and wait for change to happen.
- I'm positive that there are a million ideas out there and there are many pathways to transform classrooms. One-way is the wrong-way, but all ways should inspire students.
- I'm positive that I need to believe in all of our abilities to effect change, from the brightest of superintendents to the least-motivated of my students.
- I'm positive that students need school to become relevant.
- I'm positive that students who are at-risk need just as much care and attention as those students who get it easily and are ready to move on. I need to plan for both types of them in my course, and they may accept different pathways.
- I'm positive that this will not be an easy journey, but it will be worth it.
What are you positive about this year? I'd love to hear it.