“If we just go with the flow of the world we can’t progress and we don’t stand out.”
Today I started the day with my students reflecting on a passage from my current favourite little books, “Together is Better” by Simon Sinek.
Most of us live our lives by accident-we live as it happens. Fulfillment comes when we live our lives on purpose.
I asked them to tell me what they thought that meant, the conversations started with me discussing goals, the weight room primarily and how if I am just there without a plan I am far less effective. I do not improve as much as when I have a set purpose and plan for success. They shared and many of their responses focused on these areas above. Then that little line that started the blog popped up.
Go with the flow and don’t stand out. I thought about that line when it comes to teaching and primarily as teachers when we see things going on in education that we do not like, do we just go with the flow or do we stand out?
So many teachers I know will say that we must stand up and be the voice for our students, to speak up against bad practice, to provide the reasons why we do not support or agree with something and to do better, to be better. But I can’t help but wonder if as teachers we are enough in the fight. My friend Dr.Mary Howard talked just the other day about these conversations around practice that some feel is outdated have been going on for 40 years or more. 40 years of repeated teaching techniques that have not brought our students higher in results or lead them to be thinkers not just doers.
I want my students to be prepared to think about the world around them, to question, to stand out and not just go with the flow. I figure now is just as good a time as any to teach them to do it.
Student Voice and Choice does not work as a principle if only used when you agree with your students. If a student has an idea of how to do something that I have not thought of yet I want them to share it, I want them to suggest it. I want them to stand out, be brave and be change agents.
Why can that thinking not be applied to bad practice? Why can’t we teach our students to voice their concerns when an activity does not fit their learning needs? If kids speak up to teachers and parents and we are willing to at least listen perhaps the “fight” against bad practice with become easier. More voices to pass along the message.
I want my students to think and act outside the box, I want them to be revolutionaries for their own learning. Once they see the power that they have I do not believe they will so easily turn it back over when back practice is coming down on them. Perhaps it is their voice that needs to be the loudest.