I have been disengaged lately. Maybe it is the time of the year, maybe it is living in a new place with new routines, or maybe it is that I feel more tired with a much larger, more energetic class than I have previously had.
Yet, I also have been feeling overwhelmed with the amount of information out there. Twitter, Google+, email correspondence, books, blogs, journals, resources, etc.
It is endless.
The problem is not that there are so many bad ideas, the problem is that there are so many good ideas. So many positive ways to get to the deeper learning that interests me.
Bottom up schools.
Student directed inquiry.
Teacher guided inquiry.
Project based learning.
Place based learning.
And many, many, many, many, more....
They are all amazing. They all inspire the hearts and minds. They all point away from the what you need to know of outdated curriculum models, and point to a more robust and richer conception of teaching, learning, and knowing. I believe we are at a point in education, what Malcolm Gladwell would call a tipping point, where the system is ready for a major change. And not a cosmetic change like the Khan Academy, but a fundamental shift to the reason we have education.
So, why I am feeling disengaged?
It's just so much. There is only so many hours in a day. We can't do it all. So, what do we focus on? On that list, I value all of those things. They are all great ideas, they all have potential to transform and change what we do.
The more prescient questions is: what do I focus on? Each teacher is unique, and they bring with them their own histories and ways of thinking. Adopting a program or a model is great, but how does it fit into me as a person? And how does it fit into my classroom?
I think these ideas will change from group to group.
The thing that stays the same over the years is me.
But I don't want to stay on the same course.
I want to evolve and grow,
but in what direction do I go?
When you see a new road,
How do you know to take it,
or to leave it alone?
If I find myself on a new road
Should I ask myself,
Why am I here?
Or should I just follow the road
Where it wants to go?