Very recently I have been fortunate enough to attend two conferences; one that focused on Targeting Technology, the other at the BCSSA Winter Conference. It’s such an opportunity to participate in events like these as they are opportunities to move my thinking forward. I leave with my head swimming in ideas and it takes some time to filter through these thoughts (probably the reason I never seem to get a good night’s sleep – picture the hamster spinning in the wheel).
While there were many, many worthy ideas put forward, there was a common message by Chris Kennedy, echoed by Bruce Beairsto; Both spoke of the merits of systems like Finland and schools like High Tech High. Both acknowledged the success of others and both encouraged us to have our own goal:
This resonated strongly with me because it is at the core of what I believe education is about. As we collaborate, whether as a Student, a Teacher, a Parent or an Administrator, we are coming from a point in our own continuum of growth in that role. None of us participates in these conversations consciously trying to be someone else. In the end, we don’t want to be considered as good as someone else, we want to be ourselves…only better.
This is particularly relevant in light of the current BC Education Plan. As Beairsto points out, this is not a plan yet. This is a blueprint to create a plan. The key to the evolution of this plan lies in collaboration. Making education better in BC lies in our collaboration of what is important to us now and what we believe will be important in a future we cannot predict.
As education evolves across the Province, we aim to improve upon the areas identified as needing growth, while keeping all of the things that we do so well. Narrowing this focus and applying this thinking to my own experiences, I believe this is something that helps me to grow and expand my thinking. When collaborating with others, discussing, planning, debating, sharing, I move forward. When participating in these experiences with others, I am being myself, sharing what I have to offer. I want to walk away saying “hey, that conversation really clarified my thinking, I have a better understanding of the issue now.” Walking away myself…only better.