I've had many student teachers over the years and we always end up having a discussion about how they are going to transition from their unconventional and progressive student teaching experience to a conventional and traditional teaching position.
Since I started blogging in 2010, I've also received emails from beginning teachers asking how they should best go about teaching progressively in a traditional system.
Here's my message for those beginning teachers who want to be the change in the world that they wish to see:
You will need to work on two tracks.
In the short term, do everything you need to do to get a job and set your students up for success in the less than ideal system we have now. You will need to resist rocking the boat until you have some job security. You can only make a difference if you are in the system. If you are too vocal or uncompromising and get thrown out of teaching, you do no one any good.
In the long run, after you get some job security and some experience, you do can do everything in your power to change and improve the system.
In your early years of teaching, I do not recommend you take on the role of a system changer. Rather, you probably should stick with being a system dodger.
Here's how things worked for me:My first 3 or 4 years, I was a system follower out of some necessity for my own sanity.
Years 5-7 I gained the research and experience (plus I got angry and tired of traditional education) necessary to be a system dodger. Years 7 and on I have now gained enough experience that I am trusted and accepted as a system changer.
In your early years, do not try and change the system or it will simply chew you up and spit you out. Until you have some experience and you've had time to read and research more in combination with your experience, focus on system following and system dodging.
Oh and never try and do this all by yourself. You will need like-minded colleagues both in the real world and virtually. Trust me, the more you try and change the system, the more you'll be discarded as an outcast and a troublemaker. You will need a network to collaborate with.