Change is hard. In education, it can be downright terrifying. As teachers, we pride ourselves on routine and having the answers for everything. Often, a focus on routine means sticking to very specific types of teaching, assignments and assessments. This can certainly make teaching more expedient and manageable, but I would argue that by introducing change, we often have the opportunity to make education better. We give students a chance to experience different ways, new experiences, and some of that ever-vaulted creativity we are looking to instill in burgeoning minds.
I have changed enough in my practice and worked with enough teachers to know that you can’t change everything right away, nor should you. Many of our practices are good, and are rooted in excellent pedagogy. So start with something you’ve never been 100% sold on, something that doesn’t feel excellent when you teach it. When I first did this, I found that I was so excited to get rid of the part of the course I felt was weak, the excitement got me halfway through the work it took to redesign it.
But what to do with it? That’s another challenge that teachers face when dealing with the unknown. While there are enough theories and ideas out there to make your head spin, I would suggest picking something one of your peers is doing or has already done. There is strength in experience, and you can always learn more about new techniques, but having someone who has already ‘walked the walk’ will give you a place to turn when inevitable challenges arise. If you are having trouble with ideas or there is no one around to help, visit my contact page and drop me a line. Supporting teachers is what I do, and I am always willing to support as I can. If you really have no inkling of how you’d like to change, check out Twitter, or some my previous posts such as: Creating a Buzz in your Classroom, Project-Based Learning: Writing a Classroom Novel. Also, if there is a post on a topic you are interested in that you would like to request, please do so through the contact page! There will be more ideas and inspiration forthcoming!