5 Questions for All Educators
Steve Anderson at the Digital Learning Environments blog wrote an excellent post sharing the five questions he asks himself each day as a leader in instructional technology. The questions all focused on learning as opposed to being about technology. This learning focused approach to instructional technology is what we speak about on the Edtech Co-Op podcast.
Steve’s post led me to make a connection to a recent conversation with a co-worker. I was sharing a few ideas and some questions about the future of our school. The co-worker responded “You really should look to be an administrator”. I smiled and responded that I didn’t need to be an administrator to ask questions and want to be part of the conversation about the future of one’s school. Our conversation ended but I could have responded that in many of my previous schools it was normal for teachers and even students to have conversations about the future of the school. Asking questions and being engaged as a member of the community was part of the school culture. In addition, as the students moved into the middle and high schools, they were often asked to share their questions about the operation of the school and to give their ideas on what they wanted their school to be.
Circling back to Steve’s post while connecting to my previous schools, I would add that Steve’s questions really apply to all the members of a school and/or district learning community. As we speak about so much on the podcast, collaboration between students, teachers and administrators is central to building a dynamic culture of learning. A community that is moving forward needs members who consistently ask questions and who engage in conversations about the future. I can say that my two sons are working diligently to connect with their teachers and administrators to share their ideas and to make a difference in their school community. Between starting a Future Problem Solvers club, meeting with the principal to create a system for students to give teachers feedback and to build school spirit by running three on three basketball tournaments at lunch, my sons feel that they are helping to provide leadership as to the direction that their school is headed.
While we look to administrators like Steve for vision and guidance to reach goals, the “vision thing” really should be a shared one that is crafted and acted upon by all members of the community. This is an obvious statement but one that doesn’t always happen especially when students and teachers believe that only the administrators are the leaders at one’s school.