A Journey Through Technology

Philosophy of Adaptation

on April 27, 2017

Education is constantly changing. Throughout the years I have spent in education, both as a student and as a teacher, change has been a constant theme. In order to make it through the changes that we encounter, we must be able to adapt and readjust our course so we don’t lose our way through our educational journey. Whether you are a teacher, a student, or a leader, there needs to be a focus on how to best adapt and overcome change. My vision statement for change is “Seek change with a purpose.” Without change we can never hope to improve upon our current methods, but make those changes with a purpose in mind. One of my favorite parts about teaching is reflecting on what worked and what didn’t in my classroom, so I can improve my teaching for the next unit, semester, or even year. By reflecting on myself as a teacher, I open the door to change. “…[C]reative ideas and novel solutions are often generated when the status quo is disrupted.” (Fullan, 2001, p.107) When I disrupt the status quo in my classroom, I am seeking change with a purpose, so that my students get the most out of their time with me.

My plan of adaptation centers around two ideas: helping students adapt to change and helping teachers adapt to change. The first, helping students adapt, occurs in my classroom. In order for students to be able to adapt to change, they need to be exposed to it. “Too often school is a place where creativity is systematically killed, individuality is stamped out, and boredom reigns supreme.” (Burgess, 2012, Kindle Location 797) My classroom needs to be a change for students, different from what they are normally exposed to in school. One way I want to change my classroom to help my students adapt to change is by incorporating knowledge sharing. According to Majid, & Chitra (2013), integrating collaborative learning opportunities in the classroom “could make learning more interactive and engaging.” Knowledge sharing is one of the five components of leadership that Fullan discusses in his book Leading in a Culture of Change (2001), and I think that as leaders we not only need to embody these traits, but also need to instill these traits in those we lead. I am not only a leader for other teachers, but also for the students I interact with on a daily basis.

My plan for helping other teachers adapt to change in my school and my district is to act as an informal leader. “Informal teacher leaders…emerge spontaneously and organically from the teacher ranks.” (Danielson, 2007) As far as I know, there are not any official teacher leader positions in my district, so I think my best choice would be to take an informal role as a leader, starting with other teachers in my school. I want to take things I have learned throughout my degree program and show other teachers how they, and in turn their students, can benefit from current research and new methods. “Research shows that when teachers are empowered to function as autonomous professionals and leaders, this builds a sense of professional confidence and pride that feeds effective teaching practice.” (Berry, Daughtrey, & Wieder, 2010)

Based on my experience this semester, I think that a good starting place as an informal leader would be to act as a mentor to other teachers at my school. “A teacher has greater knowledge than a student; a mentor has greater perspective.” (Cohen, 2012) The past few years I have been taking these classes, I feel that I have been given a “greater perspective”, and now it is my responsibility to share that perspective with my colleagues.

In my vision of seeking change with a purpose, I hope that I can encourage more leadership from other teachers at my school and in my district. “Teacher leaders call others to action and energize them with the aim of improving teaching and learning.” (Danielson, 2007) As teachers, we should not rely solely on our administrators to lead us. “Leadership is the professional work of everyone in a school.” (Lambert, 2002)

References

Berry, B., Daughtrey, A., Wiedner, A. (2010) Teacher Leadership: Leading the Way to Effective Teaching and Learning. Center for Teaching Quality. Retrieved April 13, 2017 from http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED509719.pdf

Burgess, D. (2012). Teach Like a Pirate: Increase Student Engagement, Boost your Creativity, and Transform your Life as an Educator. Dave Burgess Consulting. Kindle Edition.

Cohen, P. (2012). The American Scholar: Teaching vs. Mentoring. Theamericanscholar.org. Retrieved 24 March 2017, from https://theamericanscholar.org/teaching-vs-mentoring/#

Danielson, C. (2007) The Many Faces of Leadership. Educational Leadership, 65(1), 14-19. Retrieved April 13, 2017 from http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/sept07/vol65/num01/The-Many-Faces-of-Leadership.aspx

Fullan, M. (2001). Leading in a culture of change. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Inc.,U.S. Retrieved from http://egandb.uas.alaska.edu:2081/lib/uasoutheast/reader.action?ppg=17&docID=10842273&tm=1444680173430

Lambert, L. (2002) A Framework for Shared Leadership. Educational Leadership, 59(8), 37049. Retrieved March 27, 2017 from http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/may02/vol59/num08/A-Framework-for-Shared-Leadership.aspx

Majid, S., Chitra, P.K. (2013). Role of Knowledge Sharing in the Learning Process. Literacy Information and Computer Education Journal, 2(1), 1292-1298. Retrieved April 5, 2017.

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