Goal: Where There's a Will…

Classroom Concepts

Part of the Goals 2010 Challenge Series, Goal 23

Many ideas exist for how the education system can be improved. In #Edchat, educators have offered real solutions. However, many teachers wonder how these solutions can really take place when educational policy does not support them. I am an idealist. Often, I take the Don Quixote approach and “see life as it should be.” Eventually people have to go from having ideas to actualizing these ideas. This is my long-term goal. One way to do this is to stop seeing the obstacles and “what ifs” that could get in my way. Instead, I implore us as an educational community to find successful examples of what we have envisioned. We can learn from these examples and begin to take the steps towards these goals.

The Will

I refuse to believe I have to accept the system we have lived in for decades. I worked with at risk students and in low-income districts. I grew up in schools that were left behind. I was part of the generation in my family who was the first to graduate from college. I have seen too many of my friends and family members be part of the end of that gap that did not achieve. I have seen their children also become part of that cycle.

The Way

Therefore, in February I plan on posting interviews with educators who have accomplished amazing feats in schools. My goal is to conduct more interviews with educators who work in successful educational systems that do not try to standardize students. In asking them how they are successful, perhaps we can find ways to make these ideas work in our schools.

The Connection

With these thoughts brewing, I was excited to run into Katie Lambrino, @klambrino, on Twitter today. She will be one of the people I interview. These are bits of our conversation:
ShellTerrell: RT @bwillhoit: Great Post by @AndrewBWatt- Digital Textbooks? No. http://bit.ly/902vKg – No need for textbooks in project-based learning
Klambrino: @ShellTerrell Great post. Our school does not have any textbooks. It’s all hands-on learning and I love it!
Klambrino: @ShellTerrell no textbooks, no report cards (portfolios instead) and 30 min P/T conferences each quarter, guest speakers and field trips!
ShellTerrell: @klambrino That’s amazing! Do you have to worry about standardized testing at all?
Klambrino: @ShellTerrell yep, we have to follow the testing guidelines just like any other school. 100% of kids are either advanced or proficient

Rather than focusing on why it can’t be accomplished, shouldn’t we be seeking ways it can be accomplished?
Challenge:
How do you wish to change the education system? Who from your Personal Learning Network (PLN) can help you achieve these goals?

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This is goal 23 of this series! If you’d like to join the challenge, please read this post with more details!

Don’t forget to leave a comment that you accomplished this goal using the hashtag #30Goals!

How do you think we can begin to close the wide achievement gap?