Monday, February 15, 2010

Challenge for Change

"Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek."  Barack Obama


“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”  John Quincy Adams
 
"The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today.” FDR
 
Happy President's Day.
 
I know it is a bit unusual to post about President's Day on a writing blog but I have been thinking a great deal about leadership lately and what it takes to be a good leader.  I am sure that many will debate that many of our Presidents were/are not good leaders - others will argue that merely by virute of their position, they were/are.  I am not here to lead that debate - I am just here to have us think about our leadership in education.  Specifically - our leadership when it comes to technology
 
I don't think that technology is the silver bullet to change our educational system. Sure - it might lead to increased engagement of our students.  It might.  But if we still don't have concrete and rigor expectations of the content and skills our students need to know - whether they are engaged or not is not going to make one bit of difference.
 
But one power of technology that I have found is the power to push our thinking and therefore, push our learning.  I love to write.  I love to teach writing.  But I got to do so in a very small corner of the world.  With my participation in Twitter chats, through blogging and networking using a variety of other technology resources - I can share that passion with others, learn from them and make the work that I do in my small corner of the world that much better.
 
So on this President's Day - I am going to challenge you, dear readers, to push yourselves with the technology just a bit.  Reach outside your comfort zone to try something new - to learn something new - to connect with someone new.  Not sure how? Here are some suggestions:
 
1. Over on Two Writing Teachers, they will be beginning their Slice of Life Challenge soon.  Participate - expand your own writing in a public place.
 
2. Join Twitter, follow some educators and start a conversation.  Better yet - jump into a conversation via #edchat (Tuesdays at noon and 7pm EST) or #ecosys.
 
3. Check out some of the challenges over at Challenged Based Learning and use that model to determine how we can have students write using technology (or not!) in ways to increase collaboration and solve "real world" problems.

4. Start your own blog - on writing or on any other topic.  Start a classroom blog.  Either way - write, publish, ask for feedback.  If you create one - post the link in the comment section and I will follow you.

5. Read a book online! Whatever Happened to Language Arts? is available online from Stenhouse. "Noted educator and speaker David Booth draws on his 50 years in education to explore how literacy instruction has evolved and how innovative teachers are successfully integrating old and new in their classrooms. With contributions from a dozen classroom teachers, readers will find many new ideas to try, incorporating digital learning, graphic novels, literature circles, talking about writing, reader's theater, assessment, and more."
These are small suggestions - but for some they might be very big steps.  The focus is to push yourself, be a leader and learn from others.  Leadership is not just for Presidents or CEOs - it is for educators as well.
 
 
"Sometimes when I sleep at night I think of (Dr. Seuss's) 'Hop on Pop.'" -George W. Bush, in a speech about childhood education, Washington, D.C., April 2, 2002  (Sorry - couldn't resist!)

4 comments:

twowritingteachers said...

Thanks for mentioning our annual Slice of Life Story Challenge!

SAS

twowritingteachers said...

Thanks for mentioning our annual Slice of Life Story Challenge!

SAS

twowritingteachers said...

Thanks for mentioning our annual Slice of Life Story Challenge!

SAS

Sandie said...

Theresa, although I have only been aware of your blog for a few weeks, I have found it highly informative. I am a retired teacher, but I have recently begun to develop thematic teaching units that integrate all content areas through language arts. I am hoping to sell them to supplement my retirement income, but more than that, I hope I can help interested teachers integrate their curriculum to create a more challenging, realistic environment for learning. Although I started my website a little before you gave your challenge, I still feel I fit the bill. I hope this comment will get through. I've had tried several times to post, but my Google account doesn't seem to work!