1st Year Teacher
I have been educating young people for more than 25 years, so I am not a first-year teacher. But this is my first year in a public school classroom… or at least an academic core subject classroom. I was prepared for the gifts and the antics of adolescents, although there have been a number of surprises.
I was not prepared for the high-pressure demands on teachers both from within the educational system and with-out. Every new career calls all previous learning and experience into play, so I knew what was coming. The stress in teaching has just come from so many unexpected angles and places that I leave school each day exhausted. I have yet to feel that exhilarating moment when a student gets it like so many teachers describe. Sometimes I wonder… what’s wrong with me?
I have written about the operating system of education, comparing it to the OS of a computer, and also about finding inspiration and motivation from DarknetED. [Click those hyperlinks to read more.] Then, my teacher brain asked… exactly what IS the operating system of education? What does it look/sound/feel like?
In the computer analogy, I could point to a huge file of code… all those letters / brackets / symbols / commands, etc. that a swarm of programmers rewrite / tweak / test / scrap / rewrite and test again. You are probably more familiar with updates to the apps on your smartphone. Most users are very conscientious about using wifi rather than mobile data to download updates, but the operating systems update all the time.
What does that mean in education though?
Updates vs. Rewrites
Updates mean we are just trying to fix the bugs… errors that someone found and made the effort to report to the programmers. Sometimes updates include major fixes but most times, they are small and invisible to the everyday user. In the case of personal computers, operating systems pretty much update themselves and the average person never pays much attention to the changes. In the case of a major overhaul, we get a brand new version like Windows 10. Ultimately, it just means that there were so many bugs to be fixed, the programmers put them all together in one giant new product. [Yes… product. To convince people to buy the new one… to make more money.]
Fundamentally, nothing much changed. If it did, you would need to buy a brand new computer rather than just a new operating system. So upgrading to that new iPhone just because a new and improved model came out? You might want to think carefully before buying.
Rewrites… now that’s a different story.
Rewrites mean making profound change… what the business world might call disruptive innovation. It means changing how-we’ve-always-done-things at the core to the extent that the new probably has no resemblance to the old. That’s rewrite… and rewrite can be very scary and very threatening… especially to the old-guard.
In the case of education, rewrite is critical. Because the system is over 300 years old. Because it’s broken. Because we’re losing our students and our future depends on what they will be able to do with their skills.
So what does it mean to rewrite the operating system of education?
How might we rewrite the code for teachers?
It feels to be a monumental task to change anything about anything in this mindmap… and yet, that’s what needs to happen. Bit by bit… step by step… we can change EdWorld.
The journey of 1000 miles begins with the first step.
edOS on June 4 is all about beginning and continuing the journey toward change. It is time to #PivotTheModel of education and look toward a new mountain. The education revolution is here in full force.
Tickets are on sale now. Don’t miss out. Space is limited. Click HERE for info or go to the home page.