I had the honor to hear Frederic Laloux, author of Reinventing Organizations give some advice on where to “start.”
“That’s easy,” he said. “Start where the energy is.”
Teachers very rarely start where their energy is. Instead, they start where the money is, or where the policy, test, or administration is. Teachers start from what they learned and know. They start from what they value. They start from where they are told to start.
What if teachers were only advised to start where the student energy is? How would learning shift? What would be the look and feel of classrooms? How would we establish best resources for professional development? Who would deliver that development? What would it look like for a school leader to lead a community of student energy? How would “starting with where the energy is” influence the collection and analysis of data?
If school function served student energy, how would district systems shift? What roles would parents and community play? What would change in higher education to meet the demands of student energy?
Our students will inherit and take over the world. They will not continue the current system. We know they will be in jobs and will need skills that don’t exist… yet. We know they will interact with information, community and the environment in ways very different from what is normalized now.
If we removed the factory industrial model of education and disrupted the progression towards a limited corporate education model to shift our focus to where the student energy is; education work is full possibility.
If we started where the energy is in our students, the education system would address whole child needs, develop caring environments, establish personalized learning experiences and maintain evolutionary practices.
Recently, Scot Pankey a teacher at A. Maceo Smith New Tech HS in Dallas, TX started where the energy was in one of his students. Here is the impact of that learning experience.
We are on the cusp of a new phase of human development. Our children, students and young adults are on the edge and ready to take the next step. How will educators lead student energy to cross over to the next level?
What if being a teacher meant being a cultivator of energy and facilitator of authentic human development?