Teachers: How Slowing Down Can Lead to Great Change

Image Credit: Veer.com

Sometimes, in order to gain perspective on a situation, I imagine myself zooming into outer space and looking down on whatever is going on. From a distance of thousands of feet above whatever craziness is happening I can see more clearly and determine the actions that are available for me to take.

Over the last few years, I find myself frequently zooming out of education world I’m in attempting to gain perspective. From my vantage point somewhere in the stratosphere, here’s the image that often comes to mind: I see whirling, spinning educators crashing into each other, spinning off the map, and creating all kinds of unintended destruction. I see these beings spinning into states of physical and emotional breakdown. I see the stress and pressure fracturing communities of folks who should really be allies. I see anxiety, frustration, fear, and impatience. And I see extensive trails leading back towards the origins of this madness, each entity responding to something immediate with distant roots. It’s a frightening sight, I know.

The craziness has got to stop. It’s not serving anyone.

If we slowed down, we could reflect on what we’ve been doing and what’s been working; we could ask questions, explore root causes, and we could listen to each other. And if we engaged in some of these practices, there’s a greater likelihood that we’d uncover authentic solutions, make some significant changes, feel better about our work, and deliver some sustainable results.

A Slow Schools Movement would offer a parallel paradigm shift — an approach where we’d intentionally, mindfully work on one project at a time, one goal, or one initiative. We could work hard and focused, with urgency and intentionality, for eight hours a day, and then we could go home to our families, to our out-side-of-work lives, and home to ourselves. And we’d nurture and sustain many communities.

I absolutely believe that we could still accomplish great things, we could transform education, and we could even close the achievement gap if we slowed way down. We’d enjoy our work more and enjoy each other’s company. We can start by transforming the way we think about “slowness.” Slow is wonderful. Slow is thoughtful. Slow is sustainable and human and transformational. Won’t you join Jenn and I in the Slow Schools Movement?

Read the entire article by Elena Aguilar on edutopia at http://www.edutopia.org/blog/teachers-slowing-down-lead-to-change-elena-aguilar

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