Are We Willing to Change Our Lens?

Change IS Hard

The hardest part about change is that it’s hard. No matter if we are talking about personal or organizational change. Real and lasting change requires sustained dedication to a cause. Quite honestly, that in and of itself, goes against the flow of every fiber of being for those who live in the 21st century. Which is all of us. We are all about instant gratification these days. Sustained dedication is not the normal mode of operation.

Care Enough

A student left me this message on my whiteboard.

Anymore, we are socially/ emotionally/ developmentally and professionally conditioned to resist change. Which on the surface appears ironic, and even untrue, given the outrageous, incredible blur of speed that dictates our everyday pace these days. Looking from the outside in, any stranger might rightly assume we all embrace change in this modern-day whirlwind of a culture. So not the case.

The flip side of change is that we are creature-comfort-people. Most people inherently want/like/need stability and routine. When we feel the solidity of a safety net, we are more likely to engage our creative problem-solving skills and seek out-of-the-box solutions. But whether we pursue and implant those creative ideas is hugely dependent on a number of outside influences and often the wheels of change grind to a halt.

Such is the case in EdWorld. Many, many voices are crying out for change. Administrators/ teachers/ parents/ businesses but most importantly… students. The bottom-line battle cry is deafening:

Simply stated, students are not prepared for life after K-12 education or even after P-20 education.

We need a new operating system for education. We need to Rewrite the Code!

**ICYMI: The Future Demands Idea Economy Students was published on GettingSmart.com. Click HERE to go take a read. Then come back.

It is super hard to admit out loud that all of our good-intentioned efforts at educational reform have not worked as well as we hoped. No Child Left Behind has given way to the ESSA–Every Student Succeeds Act–and though innovation now seems more possible than before, it will be a long haul until any deep impact affects the daily operation of public schools. By that time, your own kids may have topped out of the system and your personal investment in the cause diminished.

The Here and Now

We need to change our lenses.

Students can do so much more than we think.
Students can do so much more than we think.

The glasses we are wearing now distort our current perception that all is well. EdWorld tells us that information/ knowledge/ content is all students need to succeed. Everything we do in EdWorld from standards-based curriculum alignment to standardized assessment to teacher efficacy points to this outcome: The primary raw material and source of value in education is information. But that is what we have been giving students for 300+ years and we are at the point in history where it’s just not working anymore.

We must shape a new vision for the desired end-product and then creatively problem-solve our way to an out-of-the-box solution. Our ultimate goal: young adults who are skilled and prepared for a successful future. When they leave our halls, these young minds need to be on fire with ideas and the curiosity to pursue the big questions that humanity will be faced with for a better future.

Everyone knows deep down the need for change. The true test is whether we are willing to change our lenses and look at the situation with new eyes.

Join the conversation at

edOS: A New Operating System for Education on June 4 at Wings Over The Rockies.

Details HERE.

See you then!