The Heart of Change

April 29, 2020

 

Like many educators, I spend my days teetering between survival mode and trying to successfully navigate all the changes in front of us. There are moments of inspiration and clarity and there are moments of despair and loss. (Sometimes these moments even find a way to coexist in the same five-minute time span…)

 

With all this said, I could really use some help on something. I’m thinking through some of the milestone events that used to happen towards the end of every school year. The things families really looked forward to. Shared experiences and rights of passage. The things some kids will never forget.

 

Things like...

 

  • Signing yearbooks

  • Grade-level picnics

  • 5th grade graduation

  • Field trips the final week or two of school

  • Recess kickball, football, tetherball, and four-square*

 

*Okay…this last line may not rise to the bar of rights of passage, but they’re some of my favorite things to do with students each spring.

 

I’m not sure about you, but it can start to feel overwhelming trying to think of meaningful ways to do all these things while school is closed and distance learning is in session. I also struggle with feeling a sense of loss when new ideas don’t immediately come to mind.

 

But we haven’t lost yet. I know there are opportunities out there to celebrate our kiddos…even while schools are closed. My friend and publisher, George Couros, shares a quote in his book, Innovator’s Mindset that I just love, “Change is an opportunity to do something amazing.” This is so true and it’s a mantra I find myself repeating as our team works through unprecedented change associated with the pandemic.

 

 

Given the circumstances we’re in, I’d probably add one sentence before or after George's quote that covers what we’re working through…."Change can also be emotional, grief-filled, traumatic, and scary…but at the heart of every change worth doing is a person or group of people who are worth doing it for."

 

  • How are you doing with all of these changes?

  • Who are you doing them with and for?

  • What ideas have you seen (or tried) to honor students’ milestone events?

 

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Dr. Brad Gustafson is an elementary principal, author, and speaker. He believes schools can be spaces where creativity and innovation thrive, but only when we prioritize relationships and a relevant, connected pedagogy. 

 

Connect on email at:

AdjustingCourse@gmail.com

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