As mentioned previously, George Couros states that we shouldn’t just bounce back from the school closures, we should “bounce forward”. This idea really resonates with me and has shifted my mindset. Instead of focusing on the awful, heartbreaking current affairs and massive disruption to education this year, there are silver linings to be found. Besides, disruption isn’t always a bad thing…
Brené Brown states that “vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change.” For evidence of this, look no further than our profession. When schools closed, teachers worldwide became instantly and collectively vulnerable and we needed to rethink everything that we do, reevaluate what really matters and learn how we can make the best use of tools to keep student learning going. That urgency led to intentionality, and that intentionality led to an entire profession growing and learning like never before. Putting the obviously devastating news aside for a minute, I’m excited by where this professional learning will take us and how it will transform pedagogy.
I’m not just referring to technology, but it is worth mentioning. Teachers are adopting technology like never before! It’s clear from social media and what’s happening in my own school setting that powerful technology tools are being utilised in meaningful ways. These will be leveraged long after schools reopen and will continue to have a positive effect on learning, creativity and digital citizenship. Speaking of which, the creativity demonstrated by teachers during this time has been inspiring! And I, for one, had no idea that certain tools were so easy to use! In most cases, it just takes a few minutes of intentional learning.
There’s that word again: intentional. When we’re intentional and motivated, we can achieve amazing things. We should be very proud of what we have been able to accomplish during this challenging time. I think we’re all surprised at how well we’ve done. So why stop this incredible learning?
Professional learning opportunities are all around us and they’re usually quick, easy and free. I wrote about this in a previous post. Our professional learning is, ultimately, our own responsibility. Let’s continue to seek these opportunities out, maintain the incredible learning pace that we have set for ourselves and, importantly, silence any voice that tells us that we can’t. Much of what I have learnt in recent months are things that I previously thought were beyond my capability. I’ve realised how that assumption has been holding me back. Let’s remember that fixed mindsets are problematic for adults too!
My hope is that we maintain that same intentionality and urgency to learn. It is our students, colleagues and wider profession that will benefit. Like I said, the idea of accelerating my own learning, alongside everyone else, excites me. The potential benefits are limitless!
Finally, as teachers, let’s remember to be models and cheerleaders of lifelong learning. We don’t need a global pandemic for that.
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