Sunday, April 10, 2011

TEDxNYED - a month later......

I have been mulling this around in my brain for the past couple of weeks, a post-TEDxNYED post....yet I never seem to get it all written down in one place. Most likely that is because I am not really certain about how I feel about all these "excellent ideas" floating around in the ed cyberspace. Actually, I know how I feel, I am supercharged after listening and discussing ideas about education reform and education in general. I love to hear really intelligent (at least I think so) people share their ideas, their successes, their failures, their challenges, about what works and what doesn't work when it comes to learning. It's just that once I get back into my world I am easily discouraged by what passes as education and learning in my own backyard.
I am in the fortunate position where I can do almost anything in my classroom because my class "isn't a major subject". I don't have standardized testing to teach to, I don't have a standardized curriculum to attend to, I don't even have any other teachers teaching my subject. I really enjoy challenging my students and figuring out ways to present challenges and opportunities to my students. I am inspired by the work and ideas of the many talented teachers and educators who I meet at ed conferences or who I follow on Twitter.
So the challenge seems to be how to  infuse this enthusiasm and the sense of possibility and into the schools where you work. It's not just a matter of bringing back isolated ideas or projects or assignments, it is not the specifics that matter most, because very often things like that can't be reproduced or replicated. For that reason perhaps it is the energy that is most important to spread around and maybe that should be my focus when I speak with my colleagues.