Friday, April 22, 2011

Ignoring the price tag of change

Seems like everybody's got a price,
I wonder how they sleep at night.
When the sale comes first,
And the truth comes second,…
Wanna make the ED CHANGE,
Forget about the Price Tag
Yes, I am quoting Jessie J’s song “Price Change” with a slight adjustment of my own. 
Recently, I have been reflecting on my own actions, words, and ideas and when I heard this song on the radio it became clear.  Over the last 4 months I have heard:
Change is glacial
Things can’t change over night
When you ask questions, you may offend someone
Is fighting the system worth it?
Some comments have discouraged me, while others have created a sense of empowerment.  I have seen, first hand, that some comments come with a “price tag” and Newton is definitely correct in saying “For every action there is an opposite and equal reaction”.  However, I am now “Forgetting about the price tag”.
By worrying about whether or not a comment might offend someone or if the fight is worth it, we might be inhibiting needed improvement.  For some, change is a criticism of tradition, but in reality, change could be an improvement of regular practice.  I disagree with change for the sake of change, however some may argue it is blatant ignorance to say the current education system in flawless in design.  Already, some have reported on the real 7 lessons of schooling.
Of course, there are many positive aspects to our education system and I am extremely proud to be a teacher, but does this imply that I should not question tradition?  Some educators are ruled by policy and law, but feel that their own ethics and morals come into question when they follow these rules.  Which one should “trump” the other?  Should a teacher be able to stand up with honour and a constructive virtue in the face of a policy, and say “Why do we allow this?”?  And if so, should he/she be able to do it without the fear of consequence or remorse?
Recently, I had a conversation with a colleague who stated
“We are people of hypocrisy; we teach students to critically think, to respectfully question authority, and truly be a confident and progressive student, then we turn around and become a follower of policy without ever thinking on our own.  Those who do inquire about the reasons are immediately conquered, sometimes, by the exact policy they are fighting in the first place!”
This is a powerful statement, if it is true.   My heart sank when he told me that.  Do you feel as you can challenge policies and be heard?  Are you scared of being repressed by means which are out of your control?
In my district, we do have avenues to follow which are set in place to allow teachers to offer feedback and critique.  I pray and hope these are offered to ALL teachers!
If you are scared of the “price tag” of change then consider the following statement.
Fear of repercussions may influence your actions; however the gratification of attempting to produce needed unquestionable change can never be stolen from you.

1 comment:

  1. I think the 'price tag' for not following and acting on what you believe is much higher than actually pursuing change. To teach in a way you don't actually believe in is a draining and demotivating endeavor; perhaps this is why many educators lose their enthusiasm and motivation after working in the system for however many years. For the past five years of teaching I have been working hard to align my beliefs about teaching with my practice. Although it certainly hasn't been easy, to be able to walk out of the school building at the end of the day knowing that I'm teaching with authenticity and integrity is priceless. Thanks for the post - it was a good reminder to 'stay the course.'