This week is homecoming week for our school. One of the competitions was to take a picture of your department themed for each day then post them on Instagram and get likes for votes. Typically the departments would dress up that day and send a photo in. Our department planned ahead… we took pictures before the particular day. We then worked with an outstanding graphics designer to clean them up and make them great for us. This was completely within the rules of the competition.
The first two days our department exploded with votes. We were defeating the previous year’s winner by over 50 votes a day.
Then someone complained. We were accused of not “completely embracing the competition.” We as a department were upset, distraught, and angry. We worked hard on our plan and fairly completed within the rules.
Then I got to thinking… this is what “traditional thinkers” are afraid of in education… change.
I started thinking about the students in my building after this occurred. I thought about the students who do things differently and get to a new, better answer to questions. I thought about how we as a department are being treated. It must be how they feel daily in our traditional educational system. When I see a disengaged student, I now have a better idea of how they feel because their lenses are being degraded. The current system doesn’t allow for variation in thinkers. The “do it one way only” method still exists and the free thinkers don’t feel welcome in it. Because of this silly competition, We realized a core challenge that disengages our students. We realized what traditional thinkers are afraid of. Change.