Thursday, June 9, 2011

Innovative teachers: Revolutionaries or rebels?

Americanrevolution I had a conversation with a friend recently in which the subject of rebellions vs. revolutions came up.  Looking back on the conversation, I cannot remember how it came up, but it did.  What I do remember is saying something to the effect of the difference between a rebellion and a revolution is:

  • Rebellions are something to be put down and are historically viewed as being defeated.
  • Revolutions, on the other hand, are historically viewed as successful and positive movements.

Both are the result of mobilizing and unifying passionate followers to take action on a radical, new, or innovative idea. 

One is successful.  One is not. 

If given the choice, be a revolutionary – not a rebel.

In schools, we say we want creative and innovative thinkers coming up with ideas about how to educate students better.  When teachers come forward with ideas, do we as school leaders view them as rebels or revolutionaries?  Are the ideas presented in a way that motivates you or invites you to be a part of it?  Does the teacher expect you to assume all the risks involved?

These are important questions.

As school leaders, our focus should be less on resistance and more on support.  Many ideas are valuable, but need some thrashing around before they reach their true forms.  School leaders are in a great position to support ideas and serve as barometers for those who may not see all the potential benefits of their ideas.

Act as supporters and we may be a part of a revolutionary movement.

Default to resistance and create a rebellion from within your faculty.

Which would you prefer?

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