I’ve been on vacation, and it was sunny and dreamy and warm and there was turquoise water and white sands and now… it is back to work/reality, not to mention, home to about three thousand feet of snow. Harsh.
This semester I’m enrolled in a graduate course called Change in Education. Considering the amount of change I’ve seen in our profession since I officially joined it in 1999, I can’t imagine how my professor can keep a consistent syllabus from one year to the next.
Perhaps the course name should be Welcome to Education- What’s Here Today will Likely be Gone Tomorrow and Replaced with Something Else. And the new things may be shiny and/or new and/or involve you learning how to manage some newfangled device.
One of our most interesting assignments is to read a few Fastback issues, summarize the content, and comment on the significance to education today. Fastbacks were published between 1972 and 2005 by the Phi Delta Kappa Educational Foundation. The topic variety is incredible: parent-teacher alliance, resilient superintendents… anything and everything related to education. (The issues about “new” technologies written in the 1980s are a hoot!)
So as we spend plenty of our waking moments wondering how in the world we will cope with all of the changes in education, perhaps we should stop to ponder what doesn’t change in education.
What will always remain the same? What fundamental purpose(s) do we serve? Are there certain things that we will always do, no matter what changing technologies, changing families, changing educational structures exist? And if so, shouldn’t every decision we make be grounded in those fundamental purposes? How can we, as educational leaders, help our organizations focus on these fundamental big pictures?
Those are the thoughts I’m pondering today, a day when my surrounding temperature changed from glorious, sunny 85 to snowy, shiver-inducing 18 in a matter of hours. Don’t blink!