I wrote the other day about five things that we need to stop pretending in education. It was a challenge from educator Scott McLeod on Twitter and I thought it was an interesting exercise. I have certainly enjoyed reading how people have responded to Mr. McLeod’s challenge. Among my list was the observation that we might be “over committeeing” education. It was my honest reaction to the the challenge presented.
But, as sometimes happens, I may have had an incomplete thought there. My premise was that committees often become a place where bold ideas go to die a slow death. There are certainly times when that happens, but not always. Shortly after I wrote my post about five things that we pretend I attended two meetings with different sets of colleagues. Interestingly I came away from both meetings energized about what goes on in my school. When we go into these meetings with open minds and a willingness to have a dialogue about how to create a better school it is exciting.
In both of the meetings I attended people were excited about trying new ideas and the meetings centered around how to improve. This is how schools are going to change. If this were one of my political posts I would now shift from these meetings where we actually talked about change and put ideas on the table to see if the group could turn ideas into action and our current legislature. If you have communicated with a Republican legislator in the last week you know that they don’t veer from their talking points at all. But, this isn’t one of those posts, so I will leave that for another time.
Suffice it to say, I retract one of my “things we need to stop pretending.” Instead I suggest we continue to find ways to open up our professional learning networks and keep talking. My principal recently shifted several of our committees into “action teams.” While I am usually dubious of semantic shifts, I actually like this one. We need to be about taking action. Real dialogue about learning needs to turn into action in the classroom. I am seeing it happen in my building day by day and week by week. My school is going to be better today than it was yesterday. That’s how we are going to reform education. WE are going to reform education through discussion, debate, consensus, and ACTION.