The past few years have taken a toll on educators. We were well on our way toward the current state of exhaustion and impossibility we are currently experiencing prior to the pandemic, but I'm sure Covid sped things up exponentially. The public education system has placed its workers in a reactive firefighting mode that allows none of us to get on the "right side" of the problems. The best analogy (and a little comic relief) I have for the situation is described in the video above.
An educational leader I once worked with gave me the most memorable response of my career when I called him with what I perceived to be a problem. He answered by saying, "Thats not a problem, that's an opportunity" and continued to guide me through some possible action steps for this new opportunity.
I spent my next ten years seeing "problems" through that same proactive lens until it became impossible and until I realized that many of the current systems in place in education are there as reactionary approaches on purpose. And the systems in place that were originally meant to be proactive are used in reactive ways now because the training, time, and ability to follow through with fidelity make it impossible to maintain proactivity.
How can we possibly see these current problems as opportunities when the system doesn't allow for us to think creatively or have the resources needed to effectively address them?
What would the world of education be like if we were able to be proactive? Think about it...
Until the system can change, educational leaders (including those beyond site-based administrators) need to make a concerted effort toward ensuring that schools are able to implement a more proactive culture despite the problems. So until then, let's talk about these opportunities for creating a proactive culture...
A teacher's work environment becomes a child's learning environment.
Wouldn't we want to make the environment better for everyone involved!?