Sunday, February 23, 2014

Do new ideas thrive or die in your school?

I've been thinking a lot lately about leadership structures in education. More specifically, about how new ideas are born and how they eventually become school-wide or district-wide programs/initiatives.

I'd first like to discuss why many new ideas never get off the ground and why many times great ideas are secretly protected and not celebrated.

To start, far too often education leadership structures (many times not on purpose) make doing something new or different almost impossible. Let's face it, education is not exactly known to be the most nimble and flexible structure, and this really hasn't changed much over the years.

Secondly, when educators have a new idea, they are faced with the natural challenge of doing something new. This means changing the game in the middle of the game, facing and explaining this new idea to colleagues, and lastly, ensuring this new idea doesn't misalign with what the leadership is comfortable doing.

As Kevin Honeycutt (@kevinhoneycutt) said perfectly, most education innovation dies of domestic violence, so it's a reality when we say there is too much #educatoroneducatorcrime, and this has to stop if we want any new ideas to survive beyond the incubation period.

I honestly don't think there is a shortage of great ideas in education, but what we do have is a surplus of hurdles and barriers that prevent, limit, and impede new innovative ideas from having any chance of success.

I challenge you to think about what barriers exist in your education structure that limit new ideas.

I challenge you to work toward removing these hurdles and start embracing an education culture that celebrates new ideas.

I challenge you to help create an environment where folks can focus their energies on doing great things for kids and not on the things that prevent it...