Thoughtful Administrators

One of my goals for the year is to do a better job promoting new stories of learning. While I hope to focus mostly on students, I work with administrators quite a bit and am encouraged by the move many are making to embrace and consider more effective ways of teaching and learning.

Scott McLeod has been doing a great job of supporting principals and administrators in delving into blogging. While I was skeptic of his goal of getting 100 adminstrators to blog, I want to highlight at least 3 that have begun to create some “intellectual sweat” (I love that term, thanks Will) as they start some great conversations.

  • Kelly Christopherson. I became aware of Kelly about a month ago. He lives not far from me but discovered him in a conversation on Weblogg-ed. He’s already amassed some powerful writing and great reflections questioning both his own practice and struggling with the hard questions.
  • Trevor Smith. Trevor was my principal about 10 years ago and has always had a heart for doing what’s best for kids. His first few posts will hopefully set the stage for some great things to come.
  • Dustin Swanson. Dustin is actually the vice-principal under Trevor. I’ve worked with Dustin for years on various projects and he is truly one of the most insightful, young administrators I’ve met. I always come away from discussions with him challenged to pursue greater things. He’s had a classroom blog and just started a professional one.

I’d recommend you all to head over to these three and leave them some comments. Read their stuff, challenge them and encourage them to dig even deeper. Then add them to your aggregators. These are the types of fresh voices that need to be in the mix.

Update: I had a principal send me this letter that he wanted to use in his January newsletter:

Happy New Year!  I trust everyone had a restful holiday break.  If you are like me you ate lots, slept little, and need to get back to work for a rest.  Oh yes, I forgot the TVs, video games, computers, mp3s, and cell phones.  I think this Christmas was punctuated by the e-generation.

I remember my parents telling me to go and play, get some fresh air, get some exercise, play a game, etc.  Not much has changed.  I found myself telling my kids the exact same thing during the break.  I thought for quite some time about the perceived problem – kids/ people are spending all their time playing video games, watching TV, staring at the internet, talking or texting on their cell phones, listening to i-pods, and …  We are becoming a technology possessed society.  Our social interaction is a computer, our entertainment is some sort of electronic gizmo.  “Entertain me!  I don’t know how to entertain myself!”

Is this really a problem or do we need to embrace the e-generation and change the way we view and do things?  I would be very bold to answer yes or no, but it is something that we all must think about.  Do we keep on seeing things and doing things the way we did them 5, 10, 20 years ago or do we accept our techno world and work with it?

These questions and discussions directly transfer themselves to education and the way we do business with our customers, our students.  We cannot continue to teach and learn the same ways as we did a generation ago.  Thus, how do we join the e-generation and make learning fit the e-generation?  How things will change are anybody’s guess, but one thing is for sure, education, teaching, and learning need to and will change to embrace the e-generation.

(Photo “Ponder” by Lincoln Loggers)