How brave will we be this year?

Fight for your world

It’s a new year. And it takes 5 minutes to set up a blog, Twitter account, Facebook page, or Google+ community… 

How brave will we be this year?

Will we speak out against injustices? Will we champion reciprocal accountability from leaders and policymakers? Will we rally the voices of others to advocate for necessary supports? Will we facilitate the actions of others to make necessary changes? Will we highlight exemplary, forward-thinking practices while simultaneously calling out those that need to be different? Will we speak up for those who are underrepresented and underserved?

Probably not. Despite living in a time of unprecedented communication opportunities, we’ll probably do nothing and hope that others say the things that need to be said. Because we’re scared. Or apathetic. Or don’t think we have value to add to the conversation.

We live in an era in which EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US can have a voice and can reach others around the globe at the speed of light. Will we just post family pictures and cat videos or will we leverage our new powers to make a dent in the universe? Will we share – transparently and openly – our hopes and dreams, needs and desires, expertise and experiences so that we may inspire others? Will we model for our children what it means to be participatory citizens? Will we create opportunities for students to actually be participatory citizens? Will we use our voices to make a difference in the world?

Probably not. But we could.

How brave will we be this year?

Image credit: Children in Fort Smith are Learning That Protecting the Environment Will Take More Than Awareness, U.S. National Archives

16 Responses to “How brave will we be this year?”

  1. I liked all of this up until the very depressing ending! Or are you as depressed as I am by this #whatif culture? Have a great year, Scott. Thanks for all you do in keeping us honest and challenging us to be courageous educators!

    • Thanks for the comment, Patrick!

      Not trying to be overly negative. But I’m not overly optimistic either. We COULD do great things with our voices and our new opportunities. We COULD make phenomenal things happen for our students. But most of us won’t…

  2. Great message! I’m saving it to remind myself. I try to post things that cause others to think, discuss and CARE, but I could definitely be more participatory. Much more participatory! Good to remember that I am modeling for my child and my students when I do so.

    • i salute you! you are already doing a lot. it might be more effective to influence the few around you, so that they in turn influence others around them, and so on, exponentially.

      I believe that if there is enough critical mass of people thinking the same way, political and social change is INEVITABLE. Do visit my new blog if you can. Cheers.

  3. I’m still waiting for one of the principal state organizations to demand an increase in outdoor time (i.e. recess) for elementary students.

    No one seems to care…..or at least not enough to do anything

  4. Has any state superintendent or principals’ organization ever questioned the way states go about their accountability system?

  5. Sad to say … my money is on the cats.

  6. Brilliant question that need to be asked more often.
    Cheers you’ve got me thinking and acting

  7. Great post Scott! Your message pushes us to be out of our comfort zone and take that opportunity to have our voices heard and our actions meaningful. Happy new year!

  8. In my blog, consisting of 6 entries spread with no pattern whatsoever across the past four years, my last entry (Sept 2013) was motivated by one of your blogs posts, perhaps the next one will be as well!

  9. Some days I feel this type of cynicism and frustration creeping in, but then I see some amazing things happening and remind myself that our connectivity, while amplifying things like cat videos and the like, is also leading to positive change. Having the opportunity to watch and take part in “polyvocal keynotes” that embrace diverse voices and also ask deeper questions were signs that we’re headed in the right direction.

    I think “probably not” is the wrong answer. I think the answer is “Yes, some of us will”. And the next step is to shine a light on those who do.

    Sure, it’s fine to vent. But I hope we can be frustrated with lack of change without adding too much noise to the negativity.

    • One of the fun things about blogging is that posts that are seen by some as brilliant and inspiring are seen by others as negative and cynical. 🙂

      Yes, some of us will. Let’s keep feeding those folks while working to help others realize the power and potential that exist for us these days…

  10. “We live in an era in which EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US can have a voice and can reach others around the globe at the speed of light.” That’s pretty powerful Scott. Brilliant and inspiring to me!
    Like others, I’m saving this post to remind me. This is my year to try to take up the challenge – and I’m really hoping I can make good on it… I’ve lived a lifetime as a highly successful and well-loved educator within the educational system, yet all the while hiding a serious mental health issue in complete secrecy even from family and friends — out of fear of being exposed and losing my job in the educational system. (People might have called it multiple personalities years ago – can you just picture how parents and administrators would freak out if they heard their child’s teacher was a dangerous mentally deranged person with this?) Yet while parents and colleagues may have decided I was just a very private person, I’ve known 2 “healthy” administrators who were so destructive in their schools that their staffs suffered terribly and even had nervous breakdowns because of them. These are so often a well-known fact, so why are these educators allowed to continue to damage teachers and students in their schools with impunity? The mental health of educators contain very complex issues which need to be addressed!
    Now that I’m retired and I’ve finished successfully navigating the dangerous mine-field that was my career, for the sake of our students and our colleagues, I think it’s time to find a way to add my voice and experiences to the conversations educators need to have about these issues. You’re right, it’s a very scary and dangerous thing to put yourself out there, so it may take me a while, but I thank you for this inspiring post.

    “We live in an era in which EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US can have a voice and can reach others around the globe at the speed of light.” That’s pretty powerful Scott. Brilliant and inspiring.

  11. Scott,

    Love this – I (re)started my blog and twitter account last year and took some initiatives that I had been talking about for the past few years – podcasting being one of those things and getting back into the classroom being another. I’m all about action and I thank you for inspiration. I do need to look at the larger picture as well and what I want to focus my efforts on…

    I look at this as cynically inspirational 😉

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