We need a revolution.

I have been mulling over this post for a week or so and today I saw a tweet that helped clarify my thoughts.screen-shot-2016-12-12-at-8-42-24-pm

Over the past several months I have read: The Innovator’s Mindset, Kids Deserve It, Teach Like A Pirate, Learn Like A Pirate, and Ditch That Textbook to name a few.  Currently, I am reading, Renegade Leadership and participating in a book study with several staff members at school.  All these books affirm what I believe education should be and I find myself highlighting, quoting and tweeting these thoughts to inspire others.

I follow hashtags (#RenLead, #nced, #wonderwake, #kidsdeserveit, #tlap, #21stedchat, #innovationmindset, #TEDEdChat to name a few) that push my thinking.  I like, retweet and share these ideas with my PLN.

I attend conferences like NCTIESISTE and WCPSS Instructional Technology and Library Media Services Convergence as well as EdCamps (EdCampWake, EdCampElon, EdCampBeach, EdCampRFD and EdCampMaker).

My point being, I surround myself with innovative people and ideas.  And I can’t help but echo Bill’s thoughts… we keep talking about it!  Transformation is happening in pockets but we need a revolution, a movement!  We need to do what is best for the kids in front of us today, right now!

But whose responsibility is it?  As teachers, what power do we have? The standards are mandated.  Student success, and teacher success for that matter, is measured by EOG/EOC tests at the end of instruction.  How do you measure innovation, life skills, curiosity and passion for learning?  How do measure WCPSS’ mission: provide a relevant and engaging education and graduate students who are collaborative, creative, effective communicators and critical thinkers.  

And while I don’t have the answers I have hope.  Which brings me to this quote:


So my challenge is this: do what YOU can, where YOU are, today.

Yes, the standards are mandated but how you bring it to life for your students is your choice.

Yes, the standards are mandated but how you let student choice and voice shine are up to you.

Yes, the standards are mandated but how you make it relevant to your students is up to you.

Yes, the standards are mandated and you can let that paralyze you or you can rise to the challenge.

I know what you are thinking – but what about those pesky tests?  Assessments are and will continue to be an important part of education so assess in relevant ways that show growth and relevance to kids…Build student portfolios, build your students’ digital footprints, connect them with their community, teach them about reflection through videos and blogs, share their learning on Twitter, Instagram, etc.

Maybe the EOG/EOC scores will match your efforts and maybe they won’t but whatever you do…don’t give up hope!




2 thoughts on “We need a revolution.

  1. Hey Pal,

    I really dig this bit. It’s got me thinking, that’s for sure.

    The optimist in me wants to run with this times ten and embrace it with everything that I am. But the pessimist in me is screaming inside! Here’s why: If we never demand that the people pulling the strings that govern our classrooms take action to create the conditions necessary for meeting a changing mission and vision for schools, then change will always be a function of the individual efforts of individual teachers.

    Not only is that unfair to individual teachers — frankly, I’m tired of being shamed for every failure that anyone sees in education — it’s unfair to students, who are subjected to the educational lottery every year hoping that they get assigned to a teacher who is willing to take the kind of professional risks necessary to pull this work off.

    Does that make sense to you?

    Change shouldn’t be dependent on the actions of individual teachers. Change should be a function of effective choices made by those who are charged with leading our schools. And all too often, we let those people off the hook by allowing them to publicly argue for changes that policies they are in charge of prevent.

    Anyway — dug thinking with you today.



    1. Bill,
      You bring up solid points and I love reading them because you, my friend, really push my thinking! With two kids in the WCPSS system it is definitely a lottery and how do I look at my kids and say, “Sorry you lost this year.” – currently they have lost more than they have won. And if I am being honest — I have seriously considered homeschooling and dare I say charter schools. I want solutions and I want teachers to be passionate about teaching and learning – I know! I tend to be an optimistic idealist. I agree, the powers that be need to make systematic changes – like digital portfolios instead of 35 question EOG tests – to effect a greater change in education.

      How do we make that happen? I vote – I challenge – I preach our message in and outside of schools and still … here we are. I want to be part of the solution for kids and I want all of us to want that – top down or bottom up – either way we need to get it done.


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