No one can argue that the 2020-2021 school year has been full of crazy changes – remote learning, COVID restrictions, new learning management systems, 1:1 devices, zoom meetings, and new CDC and TEA guidelines and recommendations each week. Do you ever wonder why we come back to school every morning? It is easy to fall into the trap of complacency…stick with business as usual, just doing the same ‘ole thing each and every day. As educators, we are not here for riches or notoriety. We are here because we care about kids. Our mission at LDISD is to prepare each child to reach their lifelong academic and social potential. As the world continues to change daily with new opportunities and lurking hazards, so should we, as educators, continue to shift and change to best serve our students in reaching their full potential. Change is 60% heart and 40% mind (Kotter, 2011). The first step to change is to lower complacency, remove any negativity and create a sense of urgency. This sense of urgency builds the foundation for change (Kotter, 2013). When we have a shared belief and agree that it is urgent, then change will be well-received and effective. Knowing how quickly the world is changing, I have found my WHY within me that I hope will also motivate you to see past the stresses of the current state of public education and refocus on what is best for our students.
WHY (learning): We believe that providing students with an authentic learning environment will promote inquiry-driven, deep and lasting learning.
HOW (showing): Students will be asked to solve real time problems, collaborate with their classmates and interact on a professional level with their peers and teachers in this problem-based learning environment while building meaningful connections and creating shared solutions and resources.
WHAT (doing): We create an environment that allows for student choice and voice so learners can think critically, take ownership and apply their learning to real world situations.
These why, how and what statements are written from my heart to touch the hearts of my fellow educators and remind us why we get up each morning and return to the chaos of virtual learning. I assume many teachers may not know or have forgotten their “why”. Being reminded of why we show up every day – because we believe in the power of education and deeply care about our students – helps to ignite our passion and connect us to a common goal of making a difference in the lives of our students. Together we can provide learning environments that encourage ownership, embrace creativity, induce critical thinking, attack authentic problems, allow for choice and voice and redefine mistakes as opportunities to learn and grow to guarantee that our students will indeed reach their full learning potential!
Kotter, J. [Dr. John Kotter]. (2011, March 23). The heart of change [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1NKti9MyAAw
Kotter, J. [Dr. John Kotter]. (2013, August 15). Leading change: Establish a sense of urgency [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Yfrj2Y9IlI
Sinek, S. [TEDx Talks]. (2009, September 28). Start with why: How great leaders inspire action [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u4ZoJKF_VuA&t=164s
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