“There are two ways to get what you want in the world:
This ideas seems to mirror itself in the education world as well. There is a lot of pushing that happens in education…
Pushing students to perform better on standardized tests.
Pushing teachers to use more technology.
Pushing more structure and longer school days.
Pushing politicians to understand the reality of being a teacher.
Pushing colleagues to join a PLN (personal learning network).
Pushing parents to do a better job of preparing their kids.
Pushing awards as a way to convince students that their learning is worthwhile.
We (and by we I mean the collective “we” of teachers, parents, politicians) try to force our issues by pushing.
There is, of course, another option: Pull.
Again, from Justin’s post:
Dwight Eisenhower famously stated, “Pull the string, and it will follow wherever you wish. Push it, and it will go nowhere at all.” When you pull people along with you, you invite them on a journey.
Pulling by treating teachers with dignity and respect as professionals.
Pulling decision makers into the classroom as friends and not just a paycheck.
Pulling students along as you allow them to be individuals, think creatively, and provide the room to learn.
Pulling colleagues into conversations, relationships, and opportunities.
Pulling everyone forward with the focus on why we do this thing called education.
When we pull, people allow themselves to be led into new ways of thinking, acting, and considering because we are inviting them along on a journey. When we push, the immediate reaction is to feel defensive and push back.
Right now education has a lot of pushing happening. In the mean time students, the real focus of education, are getting lost in the shuffle.
Pushing seems to come from a place of fear and unrest. Pulling comes from a place of hope and insight.
How can we create cultures within schools, communities, and government of pulling? How can we do more inviting and less forcing?
Pulling might take more thought, creative solutions, understanding, and work. The results of pulling are much more fruitful than the results of pushing. Let’s get out of that cycle together.
I would love to hear your thoughts about how we might create a culture of pull.