Saturday, August 05, 2006

As We Begin Year Two

So, I was attempting to not think about education, or Web 2.0, or 21st century skills, or staff development. I was reading an article in Fortune Magazine about - of all things - Wal Mart's efforts to become more environmentally friendly. And I came across this quote from CEO Lee Scott:
But we will not be measured by our aspirations. We will be measured by our actions.
While this is not particularly profound, it really struck me as we are about to begin year two of our project on Monday. With 16 teachers from cohort one returning for a second year of staff development, and 31 teachers in cohort two coming on board, we are reaching a critical mass of our staff necessary to affect change. But I worry (something I do a lot) that we'll continue to have all these great conversations and ideas, but fail to follow through with actions that truly change things for our students.

So as we begin this second year, here is my charge to both cohort one and cohort two. Don't be afraid to dream, but make sure you follow it up with action. Don't accept excuses - from others or from yourself. Our job is to figure out what our students need to be successful in the 21st century and then provide that opportunity for them. Nothing should get in the way of that or we are letting them down. As I've said before, it's their education, not ours - so we darn well better do our best to provide them what they need. It's not going to be easy and it's not going to be quick, but I don't want to be in the position of saying to them, "Yeah, we knew what you needed to be successful in the 21st century, but we decided it was going to be really hard to do it and would ruffle a lot of feathers, so we chose not to."

To paraphrase Ian Jukes, the world is changing and education is going to change as well - with or without us. Are we going to act, or are we going to be spectators?

1 comment:

  1. Good challenge. That was what impressed me most at the conference about most of the presenters. They believed and then they did it.