All Things are New

The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.- Socrates
One thing that I have learned over my 12 years as an educator is the value of energy.  When we assume that we can take old ideas and create new realities, we are certainly mistaken.  It takes new ideas to create new realities.  We cannot expect to get a new outcome from our students when we rely on their old thoughts.  We are asked to transform their thinking in order to get these results.  In turn, we cannot expect to get a new outcome from our class or work ethic when we rely on our old techniques.  We must transform our thinking as well.
I am consumed most recently with this idea that the old ways and ideas are not transforming students.  In Socrates quote, he suggests that we need to focus all of our energy on building new.  I wholeheartedly agree because many of the foundational approaches that I developed when I began teacher are now changing.  In some cases, I welcome them with open arms, while in other cases, I am skeptical about how these changes will affect students.
However, what excites me most here is the idea of new.  New suggests that something has to be transformed or changed.  Usually the something is my thinking or my actions.   Its hard to look at a project and realize that you will need to start all over, but in many cases, it becomes easier to start from scratch if you will.
I imagine this being similar to asking students to do a problem over.  Their first thought is to immediately erase their original problem and rewrite or rework.  However, we encourage them to get a new sheet of paper and start over.  We consistently ask our students to do this, but how many times do we encounter areas of our lives as educators when we need to discard our original plan and start over?
As I look at the students this year, I have to challenge myself to rethink the way that I approach certain techniques.  Each time I do this, I remind myself that…”my new thoughts will create new words, my new words will create new actions and my new actions will create new habits.

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