Your article resonates with me in many ways. For the past 2 years, I taught at a school where innovative ideas and ways were a given. I was just learning to do many of the things you suggest…among them, assessing authentically, creating culture, connecting globally, and collaborating with others in my own school and at others. In my current position, I am a leader in many of these areas. I find myself longing for the opportunities of my former position and, at the same time, I am proud to pioneer them in my new one.
In particular, I am trying to encourage other teachers in my school to relinquish control. At times, this includes reminding myself to do it also. In our school, there is a perception that projects or assignments must be “perfect” to display them on the walls- free from mistakes, in “final” copy form, uniform in format, and copied and recopied to be perfectly legible. Many times, we forget that these kids are 8 years old- they should be making frequent mistakes! I was recently told that I “jumped the gun” by having my students design their own directions for a project. While the other classes’ projects were well-done in the end, I was proud of my students’ creations and was able to accept their imperfections.
Thank you for validating the work I am doing each day and the example I am trying to set for others.