All of this learning is for naught if my passion for learning does not light a fire in the hearts of my staff. As George Couros explained his personal journey in his blog post, Learning the way, “it is WAY easier to encourage others to do it now when I can tell them where my URL is so that they can look at the work that I have done” (October 4, 2011). He also quotes a previous tweet by Will Richardson,
It’s always interesting to me how many people in education, once they start waking up to the big shifts that are afoot, immediately jump to the “ok, so how do we change our schools?” question without addressing the “How do we change ourselves?” question first. It’s as if they’re looking to buy the off-the-shelf “EduChange” software program and install it on top of their current school operating system. They don’t like to be told that there is no program to buy, no system upgrade to run, and that the only way they’re going to start doing anything really differently is if they decide to reflect on their own learning first.
This will require time on my part; time to write, time to read, time to reflect and time to share with my staff. Do I have the time? Probably not, if I look carefully at my work load as a Principal (I am also teaching one and a half days per week), but can I afford not to spend the time? No, not if I want my staff to embrace the concept that “all of these technologies allow students and teachers to contribute their own ideas and work to the larger body of knowledge that is the Web” (Richardson, 2010, p 153). The work produced by students is “meant for the world – literally. It’s not meant to be discarded or stored in a folder somewhere; it’s meant to be added to the conversation and potentially used to teach others” (Richardson, 2010, p 154). How empowering for our staff and ultimately, for our students? I am energized by the possibilities.