So I study. I attend workshops. I have formed a PLN on twitter trying to transform my classroom. Haven't we all gone to some fantastic training and upon returning tried our new skill on our students? Often the students respond - for a while - and then we sink back toward the pit of boredom we try so hard to escape? We see other teachers teach the same lesson with better results and wonder what we are doing wrong. We silently become convinced that we are just not that exciting - or that our students are somehow lacking. If we are dedicated we fight a continuous battle against that complacency and despair - or am I the only one?
"Stories are more about the audience than the storyteller."
Now read it again with a slight change in vocabulary:
"Education is more about the students than the teacher."
Steve Denning has said, "Leadership isn't about getting people to change, it's about getting people to want to change. Lectures don't involve anyone but the storyteller/teacher. We have to bring the student into the picture and include them in the narrative.
We are the mentors - the guides. We cannot force them to change. We can only show them the contrast between where they are and the vision of where they could be if they continue to struggle. We must encourage them until a few cross the threshold and find success. Then those students may become our champions and help others that are still struggling.
Sounds like a fairy tail doesn't it? If knowledge can be transferred from generation to generation among cultures that are illiterate with storytelling, why shouldn't we weave the same techniques into our classrooms? Who is it that decided lecture and worksheets should be the norm?
Nancy Duarte said, "The future isn't a place you go to, it's a place you are going to create." In the coming year I hope to create a class culture of discovery and exploration. The classic hero story often involves a quest. In my classroom the quest is physics and IPC. As my students develop their knowledge and skills and complete their quest, I hope they also discover something about themselves and each other.
I hope we can live an adventure. I hope we can create a story that is worth sharing with others.
Watch the TEDtalks by the following folks for a little inspiration: