Be Willing to Change the Game

About a year ago, I pasted a quote into Evernote by Chris Lehmann (probably from Educon 2011):

If we want our students to grow, we must do that ourselves. This weekend we believe differently. All of us have a stake in the game. Solutions must include us (and our students). We cannot solve problems by doing things TO students.

This morning, as I bumped into the quote again, I was reminded of a teacher I met this past weekend. We were discussing change and what kind of “change agents” we want to be. He paused, turned his head slightly, eyes widening: “I just realized,” he said. “I ask my students to take risks all the time….and yet I don’t put myself out there at all.”

He was referring to sharing and working online, being willing to reach out to others to learn and grow. He’d been satisfied, thus far, to be the director who told his students what to do without doing the work himself. He looked as if he had walked into a strange, new place with no idea how he had arrived.

I smiled. I’ve seen that look before. And it can be both scary and exciting.

During our session, this teacher had shared some amazing insights, and I was eager to find his space place online to learn more.

“I don’t have a space online,” he’d said. “But I guess that needs to change.”

We must model the kind of learning we want from our students. And we must also be willing to learn from them as they explore their interests and passions.

First, we must believe in the change. And then we live the belief.

This seems pretty simple, doesn’t it?