The teacher’s refrain of “not another thing” has never been more valid.
Over the past few years, educators have absorbed countless new ideas, and they’ve had just as many demands placed on their energy.
In response, many have reacted by returning to the status quo, seeking stability and comfort. The theory of a pandemic-fueled transformation in K12 education overlooked the energy required for such a change.
At the same time, there are countless changes happening in the world outside of schools and for the students inside them. Technology, culture, demographics and more are all rapidly shifting. To prepare today’s students to succeed in tomorrow’s world, yesterday’s methods won’t all apply.
The result: a group of professionals facing challenges requiring adaptation, but many lacking the energy needed for such a change, at little to no fault of their own.
Stop Deflecting. Start Reflecting and Absorbing.
Deflection is the word we’ve been using at Swivl to describe this situation.
Deflection is when educators block out new ideas because they lack the energy to work with them. Much of this deflection is a response to top-down ideas and initiatives. But not all.
There are individuals and groups within organizations that have transformative ideas, and the energy to implement them. These people have the potential to energize an organization from within. However, these educators too often also find their ideas deflected by others.
How can this situation be addressed? Reflection and Absorption.
To absorb another’s work is to learn about it, grapple with it, and maybe even apply another’s ideas in your own work.
Organizations must empower educators to regularly Reflect their ideas and energy outwards to their colleagues. At the same time, they need a place and a process for those colleagues to Absorb, or work with, the ideas reflected by others. To absorb another’s work is to learn about it, grapple with it, and maybe even apply the ideas from that work to your own practice.
Educators almost unanimously value reflection – but too often the energy generated by their reflections goes unshared, or ends up deflected by others.
Reflection paired with absorption is a catalyst for energy that individuals and organizations need to grow.
Energizing Your Organization
To be a source of energy, reflection must begin as a simple act.
We’ve helped thousands of educators reflect in a deep way, using video to record their practice and examine it, often with the help of a coach. We still believe in this process, and we make industry-leading hardware and software to help you do it.
However, making reflection frequent requires distilling it to its essence.
The essence of reflection begins with a pause. You take stock of where your energy is going, and what your energy level is. When you share this by telling others what you’re working on, and how you’re feeling about it, you’re adding energy to your organization that colleagues can absorb.
The essence of reflection begins with a pause. You take stock of where your energy is going, and what your energy level is.
From there, you can go deeper on your own, or collaborate with others. Either about your work, or about theirs. This is the start of more collaborative working relationships amongst colleagues. For leaders, this is the start of better decision making and more-informed support of those you lead.
With more energy, awareness and support, everyone is more receptive when legitimate needs to grow and adapt are presented.
Because they know there is a system in place for them to make sense of the change, and to get the energy and ideas required to make the change.