‘All learning begins when our comfortable ideas turn out to be inadequate.’ ~ John Dewey
This quote from John Dewey has really got me thinking. How do we move from acceptance of adequacy? The status-quo. The norm. Our comfort zone. I catch myself doing it all the time. I find myself in that all too familiar place where I’m just fine with the way things are. I don’t know if I would call it a rut per-se. Some might. I catch myself and think, “Kyle, you’ve got to take it to the next level, then help teachers do the same. Which we want to ultimately impact students and their learning experiences.” As the quote states, I can’t let my ideas get too comfortable. How do we measure inadequacy? Is it OK for some practices to stay adequate for longer than others? Am I trying to develop a new professional mission statement? Brother, one paragraph in and I feel like this could easily be multiple posts!
In my profession I obviously would be focusing the idea of “taking it to the next level” on technology to enhance teacher instruction and student learning experiences. Even if we weren’t talking specific to technology, how do you plan to take it to the next level in your classroom this year? If you’re in a similar position mine, what do you plan to do to offer more enriching PD experiences and support for teachers? For me, one thing I plan to be better at is sharing/showing concrete examples when I share a new tool or resource with teachers. Not just say, “This is a cool tool and you should use it.” Not that I haven’t done this nor have I ever said that. I believe I can do it better. I believe I can do lots of things better. I plan on hashing out those specific items as I start the coming school year.
I just don’t want things to be adequate for too long. So many in my PLN want to bring about real change. We can’t let adequate stay around for too long if we want true change to occur. We might have to get more creative with our efforts as times continue to be tough, but we must adapt just like we do with anything else.
My friend Mary Beth Hertz shared this video recently via Twitter. It’s by Alan November and it’s called Myths and Opportunities: Technology in the Classroom. There are many key points in this video that I think we need to take heed of if we’re going to truly move beyond adequate in our districts and classrooms. Key components to the change that so many of us seek.
As I challenge myself to move beyond adequate, I hope you will do the same. Let’s exceed adequate! Thank you for reading. As always, I welcome your comments.