I spent this morning with pre-service teachers at the University of Northern Iowa in Rick Vanderwall’s English Methods course. I was invited to talk about curriculum matters—Iowa Core, Common Core—you know, the typical things people would think I’d be able to talk about. Of course I did address these things, but I had an alternate, maybe even subversive, agenda. To be certain this message came across clearly, I want to reiterate it to the blogosphere.
Here’s my message:
Students, we’re counting on you. We’re counting on you to be change agents. We’re counting on you to step into our schools, fresh with ideas and full of Pollyanna idealism. We’re counting on you to be stronger than the urge—that can be so overwhelming in that first year—to pick up the textbook or the laminated lesson plans. We’re counting on you to put those theories into action in new and novel ways.
We’re counting on you to be more than islands of excellence. We’re counting on you to leave your door open and model the way. We’re counting on you to believe you are more than the nervous neophyte you may feel you are. We’re counting on you to enter into our collaborative conversations and persistently question. Leadership is about function, not position, and we’re counting on you to be leaders.