Honoring the Past While Moving Toward the Future

A couple of things that I have been thinking lately:

  1. When we say, “We want our students to change the world” or “solve tomorrow’s problems,” I wonder if we are acting like the generation of teachers before didn’t?  A lot of the great things that are being created by people today is because of teachers in the past having the same intentions of teachers’ today.  We have to realize that for the best educators, no matter the generation, the intent was the same, but the access to information and each other is different.  Many of the things that I do today are DIRECTLY because of the opportunities that I had in school BECAUSE of those teachers.  I know that not everyone can say that for their school experience, but I know that many can and do.
  2. I struggle with the idea that some schools were terrible until one person got there and changed the whole thing.  This can be hurtful to the people that were in the building before and is giving credit to “one” while not realizing that it takes a group to improve and move things forward.  We might have a different vision and different skills, but understand that in any building we walk into, great things were happening before and after.  Find the strengths of the new people you encounter and build on those to help them grow. You are not to fix people, but every great leader helps people develop and reach a higher potential.  Maybe I am naive, but I do not believe anyone goes into education with the intention of making things worse, no matter their position.

Neither of these thoughts is pointed at anyone other than myself. I am focusing on becoming more thoughtful of my language when I work with groups, and I want to find the balance of push and support. My work is to help people grow and see better opportunities, WHILE learning from them and growing alongside.  I think it is essential to write this stuff down as a reminder to myself to honor those that had done so much in education long before I was a student and/or educator.

Source: George Couros