Lots of change. (Have I said lots enough?)
Sometimes I focus on the change. And when I do that, I feel like Sydney Bristow.
Again, I tend to identify many things in my life with television and film. Sydney Bristow is the protagonist of Alias, a series by JJ Abrams. Sydney thinks she's working for the CIA when in fact she is working for the very people she thought she was fighting against (gasp)! Once Syd finds out she's working for the bad guys, she becomes a double agent working with the CIA to take down SD-6.
Sydney doesn't think taking down SD-6 will take that long. In one scene, she dialogues with her handler, Agent Vaughn, that she will basically render SD-6 useless in two months tops by strategically focusing on the people she believes should be targeted. She gives Agent Vaughn a list of people even.
Vaughn is so sweet. He asks Syd to draw a map. This is what she draws.
I see the change that needs to be made but change cannot be mandated or check-listed. Change must be adopted, modeled, practiced, patiently nurtured and continually evaluated. As a friend told me last week, rarely does quick change yield long-term results (hello New Year's resolutions and French Revolutions). Vaughn tells Sydney "This isn't about cutting off an arm of the monster, it's about killing the monster."
My problem with change is I want to quickly cut off the arm rather than attack the roots. Long-lasting change seeps into our roots. It challenges our mindset, our way of thinking, our ideas that we so desperately cling to even if it's not what is best for our students. If we are not reflecting on our mindset, our reason for why we're doing what we're doing, we lose sight of the big picture of the change. (If you'd like to learn more about mindset, the book by Carol Dweck is for you!) Change cannot happen overnight. It's in tiny baby steps, in modeling one lesson, in a discussion with one colleague, in an encouraging comment from one person.
And we are not in this alone! I'd like to think I can tackle the monster all by my lonesome. However, that is unrealistic and will cause more long-term damage than positive change. I need to verbally process with other educators to ensure the change is moving in the right direction and if the change is happening for the right reasons. I need to work in a team. I need to listen. I need to learn. I need to remember that other people are in this fight too.
During today's opening session at Alabama's Mega Conference, our state superintendent @tbice shared this quote.
“Few will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events. It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”
― Robert F. Kennedy
Tonight's #aledchat focused on resiliency. I have not been resilient the past couple days. I want the change now. I don't want to wait. I don't like the fact that change takes time. Enter #aledchat. So many great quotes! Here are just a few to marinate in.
"Highly resilient people don't make excuses. They take responsibility and work to improve their situation. " @casas_jimmy
"Highly resilient [people] are soultion seekers! No focus on the why but the why not! If they hit a wall they have no problem climbing it!" @yanaizagallant
"Resilient people steer clear of catastrophic thinking because they want to find solutions to knock down barriers." @Ince22
"Resilient people look forward, learn from mistakes and are optimistic. Optimism is contagious, so is pessimism." @kfulmer
"In simple terms, highly resilient people are those who greet students with a smile every morning. Learn from but shed the day before." @tusharrae
"I see resilient folks as having more perseverance and better problem solvers, having a more internal locus of control." @carlicounsels
"Locus of control is a good point. Resilient people focus on things that can be changed rather than things that can't." @JosephDevineKV
Thank you #aledchat and PLN for encouraging me in the change and discussing resiliency. Change is hard, painful, time-consuming and transformative. How are you helping the change? These questions from @kylepace's ISTE13 reflection "We have work to do" keep resonating in my mind as I think about the big, long-term change.
"Are we creating a culture in our schools and districts that encourages trying innovative things? Are our leaders modeling innovative practices? If we continue to let fear of failure rule our school systems then that’s where we’ll stay. In systems that are dated and resistant to change. It starts with us. How are you going to share with your school and district the great things you learned? What conversations do you plan to have with school and district leadership? Think about where we are now and where we could be by the next ISTE. Think of all the exciting new things that will be shared; but only if we make something happen."