Week 14: Change in Education

I HAD to get my reflection on the week of Change in Education before @FarleyJeffrey posted his reflection for week 15 on ambition.  It’s good to have a deadline.  A few things popped into my head as I thought about how to wrap up the discussion about change.  They are, in no particular order…

One of the things I like most about the whole #slowchatED process is that the discussion goes beyond the main thread.  I love when discussions, whether involving me directly or not, take off on their own tangent.  Often, Tweeters will stop using the #slowchatED hashtag as they develop their own thread of conversation.  So it’s a nice surprise when I click on a tweet to favorite it or reply and see a string of conversation that wasn’t in the original timeline (I use TweetDeck).  @sjbates and @TheWeirdTeacher are pros at this.

In dealing with change, I found no lack of educators wanting to see change (sea change) in education, the political system, and themselves.  Not surprising, the teachers that joined the conversation (those using Twitter professionally) are the ones willing to take on some risk to be change agents at their sites.  Is this a coincidence or the kind of educator drawn to Twitter?

In looking at what we wanted to see changed in education, the responses ran the gamut.  Check-out the hashtag to review the conversation from our week.

Then came the cheese question.  It served its purpose.  We got to see how people “took” the question.  I purposely used the verbiage of the question: What do you suck at?  This allowed for the variety of interpretations we saw.  Some were honest.  Some were funny.  Some were honestly funny.  And one was quite literal (and you know I loved that).

I realized, with my student question, I should have given the prompt earlier in the week to allow teachers to talk with their students.  Next time, with a question like that, I will let people know it is coming up so they can prepare.  It didn’t really take-off the way I wanted and that’s OK.  I’ll know for the next time.  We’re developing s-l-o-w-l-y here at #slowchated.

I am really glad I moderated this week.  It was excellent experience for something I take for granted week in and week out as I engaged in Twitter chats.  Behind every chat are moderators planning, preparing questions, and summarizing the conversations.  Kudos to all those chat leaders at there.  And (shameless plug here), it was great practice for our upcoming #SLOcuechat.


Day 6 Question: How can we bring parents on-board with the change process?

Day 5 Question: Let’s hear from students.  What do they want to see changed in education?  What are their ideas for going about that change?

Day 4 Question: As we’ve seen and heard this week, change can be difficult.  Today we’re looking at the roadblocks to change.  And how to navigate them!

Day 3 Question: The school I taught at in Elk Grove before moving to the central coast was brand new.  I was on the team that planned the school from the ground up, including the hiring committee.  We wanted our school to be different, so we came up with a question to throw the interviewees off-track a bit and get a glimpse at their personality.  The question, essentially, was this: We plan on having staff BBQs at least once a month.  If you were asked to bring the cheese, what kind of cheese would you bring and why?  It, quite honestly, is the best question.  You immediately see how they handle something out-of-the-norm and get to see what’s hiding underneath the interview exterior.  So every time since then, I have always asked a cheese question.  Tomorrow in #slowchatEd, we get a cheese question.

Day 2 Question: It’s time for change. Pick one thing you want to see changed in education. Why does it need change?

Day 1 Question: Define “change agent” as it pertains to you in your current position. Examples?

I was having a #brewcue with Marc Townsend (@teachertownsend) and Rich Hovey (@teacherhovey) a few weeks ago and the germ of a question came up that has been looming in the back of my mind:

Why do some educators embrace change while others seem to fight against it – or at the very least let is pass them by without so much as a reflective glance?

The answers, as much of anything dealing with education, are multi-faceted and complex.  This doesn’t stop me from wondering, though, why is change so difficult – in education, in life, wherever?  The cheese keeps moving, but the same resistance is met over and over again.  Marc’s thoughts on a similar idea can be read here. So this week in #slowchatEd, we will be looking at change in education from many different viewpoints.  There will be several opportunities to share views from a variety of educational arms.  I encourage you to seek and share these views throughout the week, especially from those educators not yet using Twitter.  We want to hear from many voices. Some initial resources to get you thinking about change: This article  from the Johns Hopkins School of Education examines the process of change in schools. You may have already seen this video from Sir Ken Robinson, but I think it is worth another viewing. This article from ASCD looks at teachers as change agents. If you have other resources to share, please tweet them out this week using the #slowchatEd hashtag.  This post can also be seen on my website here.