I love the song by Kevin Honeycutt and the video that was created to go along with it. It shapes an important message of how we need to change school and not only does it resonate with me, but I also think we need to start making those changes. However, I often become concerned with the criticism that teachers, administrators and schools in general seem to take for not making all these changes immediately. Don't get me wrong, these changes need to take place, and the sooner the better. But the public school system is a massive institution and it has far too many leaders, officials, and businesses pulling at the puppet strings. There should be no wonder at why change can move slow in public schools. Granted some changes come a little too quickly like those forced down by state governments. The Common Core Standards, Teacher Evaluation Systems, School Report Cards, Teacher Report Cards, New Standardized Testing programs and more are all initiatives with good intent but the pace of the changes has done nothing to improve things, but it has greatly increased stress for teachers.
So what is the reaction in a situation like this? Do staff quickly move to a completely new way of teaching? Do they increase student voice and choice? Do administrators quickly move to a life skills/job skills curriculum and instructional practices to match? Or do they stay with what is safe? Do they tend to stick with practices they are comfortable with while they learn the new standards or the new technology? Do they play it safe when their administrators talk about school report cards and accountability? We all need to excuse ourselves a little as we prepare for the changes that need to take place, and accept that not everyone changes at the same pace. We need to be a united front as we attempt to create a better system for students, better instructional practices, and let them have some control of their learning, but we also need to make sure that the puppet masters hear this message too. We need to bring them on board and to stop letting them steer this ship from a distance. What are your thoughts on the reform efforts being made? Do you feel the pressure to change, but are confused about how to move forward?