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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Good Grief

Change is tough.  It is so exhausting to be a person who fosters change.  I live and breathe the challenge on a daily basis as do so many of the readers of this blog.

Some of the things I've heard in the last two weeks: 

"Why should kids work with someone else in the world?  Isn't Camilla good enough for them?"

"All we had was a school desk, books, a pencil, and the teacher's paddle, and that worked for us."

"Why should we accommodate kids with LD, not everyone can succeed in this world!"

"Just be a teacher and don't share with everyone else what you do here -- what do you want to help them?  Just teach, that is enough for the rest of us."

There is no doubt that we are moving towards a higher acceptance rate of technology as an essential part of schools, however, with this higher adoption are more questions and push back than ever.

Is it even worth it?

As I sit back and ponder this, I remember that there are times in my life when the grief was worth it!  I have three beautiful children and one miscarriage.  The miscarraige was agonizing grief and come to think of it, there was also a lot of grief in bringing the three beautiful children I have.  (especially my 10 lb 3 oz baby girl! Whew!)

One time, the miscarriage, I was sick for three months, and then, horrible, heartbreaking disappointment.  Was the grief worth it at the time?  NO!  I felt like I had nothing to show for it!  It was horrible!

But, looking back, I wouldn't even have my wonderful first born if I had had the baby I miscarried - and what would I do without my first born son?  Was the grief worth it -- in retrospect, yes.  Every single sickness and illness and pain I endured was worth it to get my beautiful three kids into this world. 


Sometimes our efforts are thrown into something and it completely fails!  We think it is worthless and that it was all for nothing.  We want to quit.

However, I think of pioneers.  Those who sweated and struggled out west here in the US.  It was truly difficult.  Many fell by the wayside and yet they opened up the settlement of the west.  Every society has a story of their pioneers.  Their revolutionaries.  The lonely, struggling, persecuted, fighting few who brought about truly positive change.  Those whose grief finally and ultimately brought about the good of their society.  Good grief.

That is you and I.  Those who are driven out of love and hope that we are reaching this generation with some new tools.  Those of us who know there is no "magic pill" or "super website" that will fix all of our ills, but that teachers with heart, hard work, and knowledge of technology tools AND the tools of the past that still work can produce positive results.  People willing to take the challenge of building bridges that the societies of tomorrow will walk across.

These are tough days and yet... somehow... I look at it and think that in ten years, we'll look back at the "good old days" when we were in the infancy of truly great, positive change and be thankful that we endured this grief.

Somehow, holding onto this and also seeing my own children improve their grades as I use technology to help them study, lets me see the good in the grief.

So, when you have your headache or heartache over things related to technology today, wipe your forehead and smile -- say "Good Grief" as the special sign to yourself and others "in the know" that you are celebrating your part in this evolution of education and are willing to endure the heartache because you see a better day tomorrow for students and education as a whole.

And though people of today will not thank you, you will put your name, in its own way, along with the names of other pioneers in history.

Keep the faith. Remember that teaching (next to parenting) is the most noble calling on earth.
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