“It is true that education is serious and important, but we have lost the curiosity and excitement of learning and discovery.”
When I read this quote from Leadership: Key Competencies for Whole-System Change by Lyle Kirtman and Michael Fullan, it made me sit up and take notice. It feels fundamentally true to me right now. Maybe it’s because it’s “Test Prep Season,” or maybe it’s because I’m at one of those points in the year when I’m just not sure that my work has a direction or is having an impact on kids. When I start feeling this way, I try to dig deep and figure out what’s getting in the way of our work really moving forward. I think this quote has something to tell me.
I am very serious about my work. What we do as teachers and coaches really matters in the lives of kids and in the future of our world. I believe that what we do does have a life and death kind of impact. So yes, the work is extremely serious and important. However, if teachers, administrators, and students lose the sense of curiousity and excitement that lives inside of learning and discovery, we are losing the most important thing that we are trying to develop.
Kirtman and Fullan go on to say that today’s companies are looking for curiosity, resilience, and entrepreneurial spirit, the ability to collaborate, and comfort with risk taking. They ask, “Why do we kill the spirit of our students and administrators progressively through our educational experience?” (I would add teachers to this list.)
I’m giving some serious thought to several questions:
How can we be serious, and nurture curiousity?
How can we believe in the importance of our work, and still revel in the excitement of learning and discovery?
How can I, as a Literacy Coach, set conditions where teachers are wondering and discovering, and enjoying, and then sharing the power of that experience with their students?
How can I help our students fully enjoy the learning experience?