Nobody likes to hear that they need to change.
Nobody likes to be told that they’re not there yet.
Nobody likes the unrelenting messages that we need to do things differently.
And therein lies the challenge. Because we DO need to change, we DO need to do things differently, and we are NOT there yet.
But folks get defensive. And angry. Or they withdraw. Or they just get tired. Tired of hearing again and again that what’s occurring isn’t sufficient for either today or tomorrow. Even when maybe, just maybe, they also know it’s true.
It’s tough to be change advocates. Or change agents. Or pains in the butt, as some call us. It would be so much easier to temper the rhetoric, to roll back the expectations, to ramp back the pace. But we know that we need to stay the course. Because our students – and our educators – and our society – need and deserve something different.
So we try to capture hearts and minds and articulate visions of what can be. We try to show models and exemplars of places that are further along and doing some of this. We try to put in support structures to help folks get there. We ask really tough questions. We enlist allies. We help in any way that we can. We encourage and we plead. We push and we pull. Is it arrogance? Is it passion? Maybe it depends on your perspective.
We don’t always do it well. We don’t always succeed. Sometimes people hate us. But sometimes people are ready to get moving.
The journey continues…
Image credit: Montana highway, Mark Hamilton