I’m grateful for a wife who has a sense of fashion and a willingness to offer advice on my poor choices. She’s always on point in regards to making sure nothing clashes. At least this means our children will be sparred from having me make their initial clothing outfits. If only navigating the fashion trends of education were as easy…
I’ve only been teaching five, very fast and short, years. Yet, in some ways it has felt like educational whiplash. Each year there has been a new trend that is replacing a program or initiative that had been around since well the start of last year (reason for replacing…it wasn’t working). As technological innovation has speed up, so has the pace of (perceived) change. Yet, most of the time it feels more like a reflex of impatience than actually thoughtful consideration for impact on students and our communities.
There are no “quick fixes” to “better” education. There is only the intentional choice that each and every student matters. No matter their zip code, last name, color of their skin, or ability to ‘do’ school. We don’t need the latest, hottest educational tool or program. What we need is our best selves showing up day in and day out, thinking of how to best serve our students right in front of us.
As I’ve finished reading 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey the most important concept I’ve walked away with is: ‘What is in my circle of influence?’
In a nutshell: What do I have the ability to influence?
My choices – YES
My thoughts – YES
How I facilitate my classroom – YES
How I make my students feel – YES
How I make my co-teachers feel – YES
How I make my parents feel- YES
It might not seem “fashionable”, but spending time working on who we are as people is critical. When we do so, we ensure that the choices we make, the thoughts we have will reflect warmly in the way we facilitate our classrooms. It will also be reflected in the way we make others feel around us.
Every good work, starts inside. In our hearts and our minds. Layering on “quick fixes” may be fashionable in the moment, it may even make us feel trendy… Yet, none of that can compare to discovering and having comfort in who we are as human beings and as educators.
Relationships with kids, parents, community stakeholders, fellow teachers, and administrators will always be there. These relationships call upon our best, our greatest self. We may not all be “fashionable”, but I know we are all determined, eager, and willing to do whatever it takes for those we love and care for.
Don’t sweat being fashionable…we can be fashionably unfashionable together!!