Okay, so that title is misleading. I am not advocating fighting in school. I am talking about when students want to try something new and go with it. Coming off an amazing INCubatoredu National Summit in Chicago, I found that many people are so scared to change their ways, they throw shots at those who do.
There have been several times in my journey with Disrupt Education that people mock what I am doing. At first, it really bugged me. I got mad. I was hurt. I cared about what they said about me and my beliefs about education. As my journey grew, I started to listen to my supporters. I started listening to those who would tell me that I am doing a great thing for education. I heard parents tell me that my journey makes sense to their kids. I have had prominent actors tell me this mirrors their journey. Without me listening to those who support me, I would have stopped this journey a long time ago. Their support motivates me to continue doing my passion of Disrupt Education. I thank you all who are following me, passing words of encouragement, and sharing my journey with others. Without you, I couldn’t do it.
So how can we teach students this? I am taking my experiences into the classroom next year. I plan on telling my story and more importantly listening to the stories of students around me. I will support the passions and interests of students. We can only know those things if we listen. My job as a business teacher is to push people into an uncomfortable place of the unknown. That is where learning happens. That is where most high school students DON’T want to go because they fear change or being heckled by their so called friends. We must teach them to listen to the real supporting people around them and not the crowd that only wants to bring them down. We must teach our students how to differentiate from someone giving constructive criticism and someone just plain hating on them. The best way to do this as a teacher is to actually go through the experience yourself.
Back to the national summit I presented and networked at… the final evening involved a dinner and drinks and a lot of networking. As I listened to many old friends and new acquaintances in the field of innovative education, I listened for the difference between supporters of my journey and haters. As I walked out from my last conversation, one person whom I just met said to me, “keep disrupting education” in a very sarcastic tone while he rolled his eyes. A hater. Oh well. I just chalked it up to someone who is scared to change. I got on the Green Line headed home and blasted Jay-Z’s “On to the next one.” and smiled.