So, it appears I recently entered a bit of an unplanned blogging and tweeting hiatus. Busy with work. Neil and I are finishing up a book, in the middle of writing another, and preparing for a day’s worth of presentations at an upcoming conference. NOT complaining…just trying to explain our absence to you, our faithful readers.
This time “away” has got me thinking about staying power in education. As educators, we become so tired of hearing about the “next great thing” or finding out that the new program our school has adopted a couple of years ago has been abandoned in favor of something “better.” And so on and so on. This issue is common in so many schools and districts. Public. Private. It doesn’t matter. Here today, gone tomorrow…it’s all too common a refrain (I won’t get started about the impact of this sort of thing on urban education and the achievement gap…).
I guess what I’m saying is this–until we start focusing on the important essentials of teaching and learning and stop worrying about bells, whistles, and the hottest trends, things are never going to change.
There’s a song I like whose chorus asks, “Who’d you rather be, the Beatles or the Rolling Stones?” And I think we need to ask ourselves this question. Do we want a meteoric rise followed by a massive flame-out? Or do we want staying power? Do we want to blindly buy in to flashy trends without considering rationale or purpose? Or do we want to move forward with ideas, practices, and products that will stand the test of time?
Epilogue: I am sure there will be some music fans who’ll remind me that there are plenty of Beatles songs that stood the test of time (hello… A Day in the Life!). And others of you will remind me that the Stones are currently far from relevant. My point is that The Beatles no longer exist. The Stones, however, are alive and kicking. (Even Keith Richards.)
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