You’ve watched Ken Robinson and Sugata Mitra and all the other education revolutionaries on TED talks. You’ve attended numerous professional development workshops on the “new” way to teach. You know something has to change but when you enter your room each morning, you are overwhelmed by the demands made on you by the students and the system. You don’t know where to start.
Realize that this change, this transformation will not happen overnight. It will also not be easy. It will not unfold in simple, linearity from point A to point Z. It will be messy. You will be frequently frustrated. You will want to give up.
Your students need you to not give up. They are desperately waiting for something more than they’re getting. Some of them have given up waiting and have dropped out. Their numbers keep growing. The ones who are still in classrooms are hoping that this year, something will be different.
Take baby steps.
First change the things you can easily change. Notice how you feel when you make those changes. Notice what happens in the classroom when you introduce the changes. Be like a scientist observing an experiment.
Add something to the way you collect data about the students.
Add something to the way students interact with each other.
Add something to the way time is used in your classroom.
Add something to the way you see yourself as teacher.
Then watch what happens.
Evolution is a slow process.
There are many of us out here, working like water flowing over rock, changing the system from within.
Soon all our little molecules of change will coalesce into a stream and then into a river and the system will have been transformed, not by political decree but by the work of teachers like you and me.