As I look at 2019, I reflect on all of the blessings that I have experienced in my recent past. I have experienced the lowest, darkest events in life, only to turn around and experience the best that life has to offer. I have failed myself and those who mean the most to me. Then inspired and motivated myself and those around me. Doors have been opened for me, I have opened doors myself, and I have had doors shut on me. I have found myself in front of and in the midst of some of the greatest educators in my state and country. From a pro bono speaking engagement, I found myself on the other side of the world speaking in front of leaders of state education in China. I have truly seen life through the lens of innovating and growing to see what life has in store for me.
One of my favorite quotes from any movie comes from The Lorax. "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not." I looked around at my school, it's students, the morale, and the community and decided that things were not going to get better unless we started trying to address the issues that were causing our problems. Things do get better. I'm living proof of it. Contrary to what many seem to believe, sitting back and complaining about the issue and how others are trying to fix it is not the answer. That's why I decided to take this step.
I teach and with the exception of a few "Why in the heck am I doing this?" moments, I enjoy what I do. I have recently found myself enjoying more of the research, design, and planning aspect of teaching. With the expertise that I have in the fields of education, curriculum writing, STEM, and innovation and with the experience that I have speaking to educators, I felt that it was time for me to take a chance and branch out. That leads us to Variables of Education.
The short answer to this is, because it's science. And I love science. I like the way that people identify an issue, devise a way to address the issue, and then study to see if their method was successful. This is our everyday life. We have problems and are constantly attempting to solve these problems through our actions.
I simply decided to apply this method to the classroom. I want to identify variables that we can all change in our classrooms and look at the results that this change brings about. I think it's a simple approach. I believe that sitting down with members of a school community and identifying the areas they would like addressed is the most important part. In order to solve a problem, you have to identify them. Next, designing possible solutions takes place with those that will be implementing the process. Finally, analyzing the results and making necessary changes must take place. This is a process that takes a few years to fully implement. It takes a commitment on the part of the administration, faculty and staff, students, parents, and community. As this process continues, all of those involved can see that this is true problem solving and critical thinking in action. I believe that these are the skills that our technology first approach to education has ignored and neglected, It's time to change that.
That is kind of the beauty and also the scariest part about all of this. I truly don't know what's next. I believe I have a great product to offer any school that hires me. I am confident in my ability to work with others to identify, design, implement, and improve school and classroom strategies. I am excited about this next step in my career and look forward to the challenges and successes that it has to offer.