It is the best of times and the worst of times to be in education. If you read a newspaper you might be hearing many stories about the worst of times. Budget and program cuts, poor school performance, bullying issues and a glut of standardized tests. When you dig deeper beyond the headlines, glimpses of the best of times are evident with stories about Genius Hour, Hour of Code, Edcamp, Maker Movement, and connected educators. Where should the media focus?
It seems the negative stories seem to catch the media’s eye more often than the positive. Many educators tend to dwell in the worst of times world. Our minds like to complain and get drawn in by the negative. It sure can seem like the worst of times. Just walk in to a teachers lounge, complaining about the “Kids today” seems to come up.
Walk into an Edcamp or spend some time on twitter and the education story changes quickly. Hearing the positives starting a day with #BFC530 , a spark chat, starts the day with 1 question for you to ponder. Every day of the week an educator can see the wonderful positives that exist in education. On weekends educators can attend professional development for teachers by teachers in the form of Edcamps. Edcamps bring the positives from twitter to life in face to face meetings where teachers share what is working in their classrooms. At these events you can often overhear teachers explain how incredible “Kids today” can be!
Both of these worlds exist in education today. Teachers have to make a choice. Do we want to be a part of the negative or the positive story about education? Ultimately educators need to help each other realize that our story has two sides. If we spend too much time focusing on one side we forget the other exists. Our students need us to be balanced. Teachers need to advocate for less testing and more funding for student programs. Teachers also need to share the success stories. Our students do incredible things in the classrooms. It is the teachers job to share these stories for all to see. If we share enough, loud enough the positive stories will hit the mainstream.