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You are the ground zero of insanity

July 8, 2010

If you looked at the title of this post and thought I was going a bit off the deep end, you might be right. Not to say that I’m going, or have been, crazy. I’m talking about this well know quote:

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
Albert Einstein

We know Einstein was a smart man. A genius. But even Einstein participated in some trial and error. Clearly this quote of his complements a view that to achieve new goals, you must do things differently than you have been.

Recently I’ve been working on curricular units with some of my teaching colleagues. We, like other educators that I’ve encountered, have been incorporating 21st Century Skills into our units. Many states now have standards that relate to these skills, and it’s good that we are recognizing the need to adapt to a world that is so very different from the one that existed when we were younger. Look back even five years ago and think about all the informational technology that has emerged. We are helping to prepare students for a world in which we cannot imagine. Does this curriculum work really do our students justice? It can if we as the educators are willing to take charge of how we unpack them in our learning environment. We cannot layer these skills over existing lessons and expect that the outcomes will change. We cannot insert them into a document and claim “I already do something like that” and think we are reaching students.

We must look at our classrooms as the ground zero for 21st Century Skills.  Fight the attitude that this is “just another thing I have to do” or “my administrators are now having me do this”.  Don’t settle for doing things the same say you have in years past and expect to reach the students of today. Examine your room set-up, think about how old those lesson plans are, challenge yourself to teach in a way that doesn’t mesh with your learning style, make things more student centered and let go of some control. When was the last time YOU learned something new?  As you write new units of study, remember that we’re not teaching to the standards, we are helping students gain a set of skills that will enable them to thrive in a world of instant information and communication.  Are you preparing them for the future, or are you the ground zero of insanity?

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From → Deep Thoughts

2 Comments
  1. Thank you so much- I’m glad I’ve ‘stumbled upon’ your blog and insights! Definition of crazy is on the spot true. Some of your words which especially inspire and ring true for me are: trial and error, must do things differently, do our students justice, don’t settle, challenge yourself, preparing them for the future….. and of course more. All in all, please keep sharing. We need the challenge. 🙂

  2. Thanks for inviting me to read your Post. You are off to a great start. As far as this post goes, it caused me to think of teachers teaching lessons in writing while using Smith Corona typewriters and erasable paper to prepare students for a world of word processing and high speed printers.

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