Peace and Progress

Distractions abound.  There are many issues, movements, mandates and changes surrounding educators.  Add to the list a new national administration.  We can prognosticate all day long – but we won’t know what the platform, agenda and leadership for education technologies will be until it is decided and implemented. Ditto that for ESSA.  We live in an era of surprise and moving sands.

What do we do in the meantime?  We are in the eye of the storm.  That means we find ourselves in the calmest place possible in the bluster.  Here we can stay focused and committed to the right work and our moral obligation to learners and community.  In our personal and professional lives, time after time, we learn that we can only impact and make a difference where we have control and responsibility. Remember the Serenity Prayer?  “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference.”

Teachers probably understand this more than any other group.  When he/she partners each day with learners, they and they alone own that space and time and what they will accomplish together.  Ideally, and, I’m sure, in most cases, these are safe and known spaces.  Besides the usual face to face classroom interactions, there are social collaboration tools.  These help communications and interactions that are not always comfortably expressed in front of students’ peers.  These can be sounding boards and formative assessment for teachers to understand and facilitate each learner’s thoughts and unique needs.

One of the reasons we foster what we’ve called 21st century skills is the need to be flexible, adaptable, and problem-solve real life situations in a rapidly changing world.  This means being able to efficiently assimilate new information, knowledge, skills, economies, communications, relationships, and, yes, political realities.  And to be not afraid to move forward in engaging those dynamics to serve our moral imperative.  See David Geurin’s blog http://bit.ly/2fy6Kll.  That’s why we originally went into the education field, right?

As President Obama told his daughters about an agenda of lifting people up with kindness and respect…. “You say, O.K., where are the places where I can push to keep it moving forward.”  For we educators, once the way forward from the new administration is defined, we march onward with the same passionate commitment we have had since launching our education careers.  We’ll figure out the places and ways we can push to keep moving forward.  Regardless of the tumults we’ve witnessed or experienced over time, education has advanced and evolved to meet our youth and lift them forward.

Each of us has had a positive impact on a child.  We’ve fought tirelessly on the education technology front to ensure learners have the tools and resources to successfully engage the digital world.  Progress will continue.

Leslie Wilson
Chief Executive Officer
One-to-One Institute

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