May 3, 2013

Waiting On The System To Change?

The system needs to change. It needs to adapt with changing times, changing students and a changing information paradigm. School needs to shift.

In my mind, it needs a radical tactical shift.

As I talk with other teachers, it seems that this is a universally accepted idea. The system needs to change.

John Mayer sings, “We are waiting on the world to change.” The problem is that year after year, as we sit and wait for a system that is adequately responsive, we lose another opportunity to get started.

Can teachers change the system? Are teachers system leaders?

On one hand, we are the front lines. We are the first person to deal with students and parents. We show up everyday and close the door. We have the utmost of control over the experiences of a student. Innovation and change can happen on a daily basis. We have the ability to radically alter how we approach learning, how we instruct, and how we assess.

Yet, the status quo is maintained. The change that happens is often minor. We haven’t seen any radical change since the dawn of the information age.

And the reason, because the system hasn’t changed.

This paradoxical relationship of change has stymied any lasting, important forward movement.

Teachers speak about a mistrust of administration, the Ministry and the support they’d have if they were to try something outside the box. Not to mention, the fear of trying something, failing and the lasting implication to the students under their care. For all the talk about trusting teacher practice and judgement, is there ¬†All valid reasons for sure.

Though it isn’t enough. Change is needed.

I’m left questioning the likelihood of true systemic change. I’m left wondering if the acts of a single teacher, or even a radical group of teachers is really change. But, that doesn’t make me still want to try new things, challenge the system and encourage others to do the same.

I guess my question is, are you waiting on the system to change or being the change?

1 Comment

  • This was a great blog! Now is might be cliche coming from a student about the teacher, but I was really able to relate to this…

    At the beginning of the Semester I had to write about the education system, and it’s effects on divergent thinking. One of the points I had in the… Rant- shall we say- was that teachers have too important a role to be occupying the roles they do. Theyre relationships with students are far greater than say those of students with guidance councillors in terms of knowing the students’ specific needs, and helping them make decisions.

    Hopefully we see change… I think that this year has been an important one in terms of all the changes and problems that have happened to the system, what with bill 115, the change to super twelve (… Still mad about that… Might have to rant some more…) and further changes I have heard about, which are almost shocking… If this negativity is to continue, I definitely feel that change is necessitated, and I hope that teachers will be able to make the positive changes I know they can…


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