I have been hitting the slopes in Whistler, British Columbia for the last seven consecutive days. (My legs are killing me.) During my time spent on ski lifts, as well as some other establishments, I've enjoyed the opportunity to to discuss education with some native Canadians. It's been fun comparing and contrasting education in Canada to the United States. It turns out both countries have similar problems although Canada doesn't seem to be so detrimentally reliant on standardized tests, for which I'm envious.
For the past week I have also heard many pro-education commercials made by the British Columbia Teachers' Federation who are enduring a difficult contract battle. Teachers are actually going on strike next week; school is cancelled for three days...it's that bad. A mantra they use, "Learning is changing; let's put students first" has struck me every time I have heard it.
I agree with both statements. Unfortunately, I constantly see resistance to the changes in learning. I know change is scary, but it is not always bad. Actually, I believe these changes in learning (i.e. passion based learning while utilizing technology) are extremely positive....they give me hope and have revived my passion for education.
Students are not coming first and this frustrates me. Tradition, building structures, administration, teachers, staff members, parents, taxpayers and politicians... all are coming before the students. How infuriating!
How can we work together to achieve the common belief that in order to put students first, we must understand that learning IS changing, and THAT is a good thing?