“This hasn’t been easy, you know.”
That’s the principal of a middle school where the way kids learn in classrooms is fundamentally changing. More questions. More projects that actually tackle stuff that’s happening in the real world and that are driven by kids’ interests. More making stuff. More presentations. More kids who are taking on their own “home work” because they want to, not because someone assigns it.
In other words, some real shift.
It’s taken a good chunk of time. She’s been at the school for six years. The first three? “Spinning wheels. Baby steps.” The last couple? “I didn’t know if I’d see it happen, but there’s definitely less pain now.”
“I don’t think you can do this without feeling a lot of pain,” she says. “A lot.” Pain as in confusion and pushback and anger and failure. “I know if we’re not feeling it, we’re not changing. But it’s hard to see it through sometimes.”
No one likes it, she says. No one likes to be uncomfortable. But it’s a necessary part of the process.
“You just don’t get anywhere, really, unless you embrace the discomfort and commit to working through it.”
I wonder how many people in school leadership are embracing the pain. I wonder how many of them, are instead trying to mitigate the pain, to not confront it. To appease those causing it instead of leading them through it.
And I wonder how many of them really believe in what they’re doing enough to see it through.
Image credit: Cogdogblog