School change: Remarkable! icil2010

by Steve Wyckoff on June 5, 2010

Maybe it’s because I felt vindicated, but I think the people that organized and ran the  I Connect I Learn conference in Colby Kansas this week were remarkable! Diana Wieland, Ginger Luman, Theresa Morgan, Kevin Honeycutt, with assistance from many, many others, did a magnificent job. These are the people who will lead real school change if it’s going to happen.

In a time when finances are very thin this remarkable team was able to attract about 150 educators to a conference pretty much in the middle of nowhere. No offense Colby, but you guys are a long way from anything! And many of the people who attended were paying their own way.

The best part of the conference? I didn’t hear one conversation about raising test scores! What a relief! What a breath of fresh air! The discussions I heard were about engaging kids, and helping kids become successful, about making learning fun, about empowering kids.

So why do I feel vindicated? I’ve written several times that we need to turn schools and teachers lose to do what they do best. And we need to give parents the power to choose their kids’ schools based on the kind of education they want for their kids. I’ve also written that we need to inspire our educators so that they are passionate and remarkable. Educators whose mission is to inspire kids to identify what it is that they are so passionate about, that they will begin the journey to becoming remarkable at it.

Well the educators at the icil 2010 were remarkable! In my heart I know that if these educators had the autonomy, and the charge to inspire every student to identify their passions, and start the journey to becoming remarkable; and were accountable to parents, not bureaucrats, they would do unbelievable things!

I’m absolutely convinced that that we can avoid the looming educational meltdown we are heading towards if we would do two simple things; empower our educators, and make them accountable to parents, not bureaucrats. The educators I was with this week proved to me. –  Steve Wyckoff

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