Transformation

Posted: January 5, 2011 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

So, I’ve been doing a lot of planning for the next weeks and new year and it’s seeming like this year is going to be a big change. I know, it’s after winter break and I’m a little late to be noticing this key fact. (Since I started this post ages ago, it’s really been a lot of thinking.)

Here’s the thing though, sometimes you don’t realize the little changes you are making are about to push you right on over the edge to (feel free to use that overly dramatic, announcer voice as you read the next words) Change or Transformation until they start to pile up. I make changes every year as I teach, even if there haven’t been any big book changes or curricular changes made. I do this only partly to keep myself interested. Mostly I make changes because I can’t help it. I think that a classroom is a living, breathing place that changes with who is there. So, even if I tried to do everything the same way, it would be different because the students are different each year. I am different each year too.

Over the past few years I’ve made changes that range from books coming and going, to blogs becoming a major part of the experience, and now I’m, as of a few weeks ago, a 1-1 iPad classroom. Sometimes it turns out that the changes you’ve made are great, and yet they haven’t changed the game you’re playing. And then sometimes you make either enough little changes or a radical enough single change and all of a sudden–new game.

I think this year I might be end up playing a new game.

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Comments
  1. A living, breathing place. Like that.

  2. Maggie says:

    Change is just that… something different…. not necessarily better. Variety is the spice of life and the “something different”, as you say, keeps interest up and, I believe, novelty makes it easier to breed creativity. I’m reading and hearing such mixed reviews in classrooms where the change has been made to 1-1 i-Pads. I cannot wait to follow your experiences with your students in 2011 to learn more about the creativity that comes from that particular “something different”. WIshing you a great year ahead — and thanks for blogging it back to us!

    • mseiteljorg says:

      Maggie,
      It’s interesting that you read the post as the iPads being the big change. I can see how that would be easy to do. I debated whether to even mention them. I actually don’t think that becoming a 1-1 iPad room is by definition transformative. And, in my room specifically, I don’t think that is the biggest change that is happening. The iPads are just a tool, ok a really snazzy (does anyone use that word anymore, besides me and my dad) tool, used in the service of teaching and learning. It is my hope that the actual teaching and learning is what is changing. Some days I get there, some days not so much.

      I agree with your idea that change and embracing novelty makes it easier to breed creativity. The other thing I would add to the recipe is risk.

      Thanks for reading.

      • maggie says:

        So do snazzy tools drive a transformative culture, or does a transformative culture drive the snazzy tools? ( I can hear: it’s not about the cool tool people, in my head as I type this…but I take it you agree?

  3. mseiteljorg says:

    Maggie,
    I think something has to push you (teacher/school) over that edge. Ultimately I believe the goal is a “transformative culture” as you say. And, I bet for some folks a few of those snazzy tools are a draw. So be it, whatever gets people to the table. Maybe that first attraction is change or creativity or novelty, or a great tool. That first step is just that, a first step.

    If I were queen of everything (not the first time I’ve considered this: https://thoughtsfromschool.wordpress.com/2010/08/31/a-new-job-idea/ ) I think I’d first need to get everyone’s attention, and that would require a different lure for different people. Once I got some attention, then I could get to the big stuff like total transformation. So no it’s not about the tool, but some of them sure do help.

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