Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Be Firm in Your Principles. Be Flexible in Your Practices.



I'm a big advocate of positive and productive change. If one thing is certain, it's change. There will be change, and we must adapt. Our students must adapt. Our schools must adapt. The world is becoming more complex and uncertain, and that makes change even more imperative. 

But some things never change. Teaching principles, for instance, stand the test of time. Principles are fundamental truths. They are universal and unchanging at their core. These things should be the foundation of who we are and what we do as educators.

-Treat every child, every person, with dignity and respect.

-Make kindness a top concern.

-Communicate clear goals and objectives.

-Set high expectations.

-Believe the best of your students.

-Provide extraordinary learning experiences, not just lessons.

-Make learning relevant to time, place, and the individual.

-Persevere, push through obstacles, and never give up on a child.

-Recognize effort and progress.

-Consistently provide useful and meaningful feedback.

These things will not change. There may be some slight contextual ways that they change. But essentially, they are some of the fundamentals whether we look at education 50 years in the past or 50 years into the future.

But our practices are different. Our practices should be much different than 50 years ago. They should even be different than 5 years ago. They may be different tomorrow, based on our students' needs. We must adapt our practices to the needs of the students we are working with today, right now. We need to adapt to the changes that are happening in the world right now as well.

Teaching practices are only effective in certain situations and change over time: grading, curriculum, technology, strategies, and lessons all must change to stay relevant.

So...

Be firm in your principles. They are your core beliefs.

Be flexible in your practices. They flow from your principles and are your actions today.

Be firm in your mission. It's your purpose as an educator.

Be flexible in your methods. Your methods are how you achieve your purpose and may change with the situation.

How are you developing your principles and practices as an educator? Both are important. Leave a comment below or respond on Facebook or Twitter.
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