Lorenzo Walker Tech HS & Institute of Tech

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Process of Change

We don’t experience the typical change of seasons here in Florida – though we do have seasonal changes (we’re in the heart of ‘snowbird’ season right now)! In fact, most would consider Southwest Florida as temperate and constant. The steady and dependable nature is a characteristic that we rely upon and anticipate, very much reflective of our expectations in life. We grow to depend upon the roads leading from home to work and the grocery stores being open at the designated time. Not that we don’t sometimes seek change or a diversion in the routine – but we tend to expect the familiar in our daily lives.

Our educational institutions have seemingly followed a similar pattern. Our students have been trained to expect the recognized lecture, note-taking, test-taking as a signal for learning. School is the place to be educated. The rite of graduation ceremony is the measure of success. So what if the learning is merely rote and a transformation really hasn’t occurred? What loss is there when little reflection, problem-solving, interdisciplinary collaboration, or relevance is present?

Change is tough…and it’s intimidating – often even downright scary! Change is also critical to greet the future. Jason Dehne, a finance buyer, creates his own work schedule and location (and he is joined by 70% of his Best Buy corporate colleagues) – “Work is something you do. It’s not a place you go to.” (What Works: Letting Employees Choose, NBC Nightly News, March 15, 2007). Will our students be prepared to do this? Do they view learning as something to do and not just a product of school? Are we modeling lifelong learning, adaptation to change, continuous improvement with our students?

I keep these questions in mind as a constant reminder – as a way to not settle for the mainstream. Though the process is slow, forward movement is a prerequisite! Be the river, not the rock...

PHOTO CREDITS: Fall Leaves by alykat, untitled by jakeliefer, and River in Mostar by burge5000

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