I spend most of my time talking with teachers about how they can integrate technology into their classrooms. At times, it is hard. Education has been working on the same plain for so many years that there seems to be a norm for how information is taught, and technology is not necessarily in that plan. Particularly, I am working on several video projects at the moment. We just finished a hefty Youtube debate that was a great success. However, it took a lot of extra time out of the class where students could have been memorizing verb conjugations or diagramming sentences.
Now I am not saying that those activities are a total waste of time. They are useful in their own right, but they do not necessarily teach a student to read or write, and there is not a whole lot of support in the state standards for these activities. But that is what is “supposed” to be taught in the English classroom.
There are lots of teachers out there that want to change the way their classroom runs. I know it, but they are scared to break the traditions of education. This is due to several different factors that I don’t care to delve into at this point. Honestly, we have heard it too many times, and all it does is raise blood pressure levels.
Rather, I want to talk about how we change the current system. I ran across this video on TED yesterday by Derek Sivers on “How to make a movement” and thought it had some great advice for those that want to see change in the way our students are being taught.
Below is a list of the points I found to be useful from the presentation. Whether you see yourself as a leader in your school or a follower, both play in equally important role in making change.
1. A leader needs the guts to stand out and be ridiculed. This is so true. It is hard to stand out in the crowd, and believe me, people are going to stare and maybe even throw things. Just keep dancing, and people will eventually follow.
2. Embrace followers and make them your equal. A good leader doesn’t do the job for their own glory. They do it to help others be better and feel good about themselves.
3. The first follower is what turns the lone nut into a leader. A person can call them self a leader all they want, but until they have followers, he or she is not leading anything, just an idiot dancing in a field. There is definitely not movement. Followers are an essential part of a movement.
4. A movement must be public. It does no good to sit in the closet and talk about what you want to do. Get the word out. Talk about your ideas with everyone, whether they agree or not.
5. It is important to nurture the first followers as equals. Again, followers are every bit important as the leader in a movement, and they aren’t going to hang around if they feel like they are being looked down on.
6. Make it clear that it is about the movement, not you. If there is someone proclaiming that they are a leader, than they are probably not all that good. A good leader will attract followers naturally because the cause is just a good thing to do, or in the case of the video fun!
7. Leadership is over glorified. A leader is nothing without followers and is not going to accomplish much. A movement doesn’t accomplish a goal without masses.