I have enjoyed following the #makeschooldifferent discussion on Twitter and in the blogosphere. Scott McLeod (who initiated this conversation) has been working hard to compile responses to the ‘5 things to stop pretending in education’ prompt in this document. Take a minute and read through some of the list right now if you aren’t sure what I’m talking about. (Then come back here, please.)
When I took the challenge to add my voice to the #makeschooldifferent conversation it felt really good to speak honestly about some of my current areas of concern in my work with teachers. A few days after that post I was reading some other teachers’ posts when I became concerned about the tone of some of them. I revisited my own post and realized that it could be interpreted as being very negative.
After some reflection I decided to stop worrying about how my tone might be interpreted. Passionate opinions are required to drive positive change. I was reminded of this TED talk. In the talk, Nobel Laureate Kailash Satyarthi describes how his outrage at the injustices of the caste system and child slavery in India prompted him to take action. His mantra? Anger. Idea. Action. His may seem like an extreme example, but it reminds us that strong emotions and a sense of injustice can help motivate us to improve our circumstances.
Do some of the voices in the #makeschooldifferent discussion sound a little angry? Yes. The anger has its root in the deep caring we have for our profession and for the well-being of our students. Anger is much better than indifference and complacence IF we direct our energy to help us find ways to make positive change.
How would you #makeschooldifferent? What issues in education raise your heart rate? Share your thinking. Get a little angry. Just don't forget to come up with ideas about how we can take action. Anger alone is not enough.