We must be the change that we wish to see in the world.
Ghandi authored these words some time ago, but they have not lost an ounce of their meaning. I share Ghandi's words with anyone who expresses pessimism or cynicism towards change.
Yes change can be frustrating. For me, I can at times feel frustrated with other's inability to push for progressive educational reform. I am not a stranger to colleagues who say thing like 'change comes from the top' or 'I'm just a teacher-what can I do?' or 'That's never going to change'.
Most recently, I over heard some one say that a teacher can't make change in their school district while still being employed as a teacher.
So, who should I be employed by to make change in my school district. And if this was true, what does that say about the leadership of the school district?
Excuses are like eye-brows - everyone has them. The choice isn't whether you can or can't; rather the choice is whether you want to or not.
Seth Godin's book Linchpin leaves stinging criticism of those who place a premium on obedience. To the employees, Godin says:
If you want a job where it's okay to follow the rules, don't be surprised if you get a job where following the rules is all you get to do. If you want a jobe where the people who work for you do exactly what they're told, don't be surprised if you boss expects precisely the same thing from you...
If you want a job where you do more than follow instructions, don't be surprised if you get asked to do things they never taught you in school.If you want a job where you take intellectual risks all day long, don't be surprised if your insights get you promoted.
To the employers, Godin explains:
Would your organization be more successful if your employees were more obedient?
Or, consider for a second: would you be more successful if your employees were more artistic, motivated, aware, passionate, and genuine?
You can't have both, of course.
It's time we ended this facade. Employers don't really want mindless compliant employees, nor do employees want to be so. It's time teachers took back their professionalism and be the change we want to see in education.
Because if not us, then who? And if not now, then when?