I mentioned this in one of my comments to another classmate, but rather than trying to find an answer for these questions...I only had more questions. I'm missing something is all I keep telling myself. I don't why "they" don't understand. Whether "they" be the complacent teacher who "likes this stuff", the admin who have never really been in all of our shoes, or the agencies that believe these exams are making our kids better human beings. As I've mentioned before, everyone shares a stance on standardized testing and to each their own, I truly try to see both sides of that coin and have an understanding why they are both important and unimportant, but I still think that is besides the topic at hand. Doing is learning! Seeing is believing! If the evidence and data is showing how much more successful and wholesome our students are with blended learning or project based learning or anything that requires "doing", then why the hesitation? Again, I'm totally aware that's the exact question that is being asked, I just do not see why it should be a question to begin with.
I did turn this on myself, though. If it's such an easy concept to understand, then why am I not doing it in my classroom? Now, I see why change is so hard. I'm aware of all of these things. I see the benefits. I understand the benefits. I want to be the change, but when faced with doing it alone...there lies the challenge. I know if I stick with teaching things the way that I am I will able to walk into any number of teacher's classroom and they'll have an answer. How do you teach subtraction? How do you teach the life cycle of a butterfly? How do you teach about the seven continents? Someone will have an answer for me within minutes! But if my question is how do I keep my students engaged? How do I foster a love for creativity all while abiding by the standards? How do I prepare them for their future? The responses are few to none. I have to be willing to find these answers on my own. I have to do the exact thing I am asking my kids to do. In the famous words of Dr. H, I have to "walk the talk." I will have to DO the learning and not just regurgitate what is being repeated to me.
This comes at a price. This comes at a cost. It will not be easy and maybe that's the answer to all these questions that I still have. It's not easy! Effort is required. Research is demanded. Trial and error is nonnegotiable. But so is success. Hard work pays off and my kids will be the ones who benefit greatly from it in the end.