When it comes to breaking the mold, teachers seem paralyzed. Even though we know that lecturing about math from an overhead while students copy notes is not very effective, most of us still teach that way. I know it’s not laziness. I don’t think it’s us teaching the way we were taught. I think the reason we teach the same old way is because we are afraid to fail. Part of it is that we are afraid of looking foolish in front of our students. Most of it, though, stems from a fear of being reprimanded for a mistake be an administrator.
What’s the worst thing that could happen if you try something bold in your classroom and fail? Nothing, really. You might apologize to your students and reteach the lesson, but there are no significant consequences to attempting an EduAwesome lesson and failing. Your principal is probably not going to enter your class just as your trying out a new idea. Murphy’s Law aside, your principal really doesn’t watch your every move. That’s been my excuse for not pushing myself and my lessons. And it’s a lame excuse.
The only thing you should be concerned about is permanently altering your classroom. But even then, your principal is probably going to go along with it because your idea was EduAwesome, and it had a positive impact on your students. Robert Pronovost painted all the desks in his classroom with whiteboard paint. He didn’t write about how he asked permission; he wrote about how it changed his classroom. I’m not even sure if he asked permission. The point, though, is that we need to be bold as educators. We have all these great ideas, but we need to infuse them into our classroom more. We know what’s best for our students, and we should do it. After all, they’re not watching your every move.