The people who will save our schools are not the policy makers, the educational researchers, the textbook developers, the consultants, or anyone else who works outside of a school. Our schools will be saved by the teachers, principals, superintendents, and other educators who live to learn. This new group, people I call radical learners, is emerging in schools all across the world. They are people who are driven by learning, people who get up in the morning fired up to try something new, to make a difference, to teach and learn.
Radical learners are everywhere. Often alone, they stand up for kids in board meetings, the principal’s office, and the staff lounge, but mostly they stand up for kids in their own classrooms. They are creating PLNs, grabbing good ideas off of Twitter, writing, reading, and sharing good blogs, reading new thinkers like Godin, Gladwell, and Pink, and old thinkers like Friere, Dewey, and Mason. Radical learners are loving people who will not let schools let kids down. They work the system to make it better, and kinder, more loving, more equitable, more challenging, and more supportive. They work hard because they know how much learning matters.
Who are the radical learners?
- believe we are here on earth to learn, so they are turned on by every chance they get to discover something new
- use technology to learn, to teach, or lead (and because it’s cool)
- have hope because they know that to teach without hope is to damage but to teach with hope can save the world
- love the members of their PLN
- have mentors and coaches
- mentor and coach others
- are witnesses to the good
- are brutally honest about what is really happening in their classroom and welcome any visitor who could help them improve
- don’t blame others but accept personal responsibility for whatever task they take on
- infect everybody with their love of learning; most important, the children they teach
- make a difference
Are you a radical learner?