Heroism of the incremental.

Following up a bit on the last blog post.  One of the learners by whom I am most challenged is George Couros.  Today he sent out a blog post called 5 Arguments Against “Innovation in Education” and How You Might Respond. It’s excellent.  One of the arguments he addresses is the one I hear a lot.  The issue of time.  He discusses prioritization and taking a hard look at what one does with one’s time.  This got me thinking.  Here’s my response to this blog post.

“A suggestion to address the issue of time. I think the theory is just like getting physical exercise. If I want to be in better physical shape, I prioritize the time. I get up earlier, I hit the treadmill right after work, I walk around more, I stand up more. Same drill for professional learning. If I were to return to a building as a principal, I would arrive a half hour earlier each day. Close my door. Ignore email. I would read, think, and write. Especially write. A half hour a day would create 2.5 hours a week. 10 hours a month in self-directed professional learning. Over the course of a school year, 80-90 hours of professional learning. I read a great quote yesterday, “We have the chance to transform the course of our lives. Doing so will mean discovering the heroism of the incremental.” –Atul Gawande. Incremental professional transformation and growth. Works for me!”

I can’t get that line, ‘heroism of the incremental’, out of my head.  It reminds me of what my late friend, John McCrossin, always said, “Inch by inch, everything’s a cinch.”  I believe both of these ideas are absolutely correct.  We just have to make what we want to have happen a priority.  We all have the same 24 hours in a day.  It’s what we do with them that makes all the difference.  Inch by inch.

Author: Jeff Nelson

Jeff Nelson Fife School District Assistant Superintendent:Teaching-Learning-Innovation 36 years as an educator. 16 years teacher 3 years assistant principal 12 years principal 5 years Assistant Superintendent BA, Washington State University MAEd, Washington State University Previous member of AWSP Legislative Committee Previous member of UW Tacoma PEAB, Administrative Certification Established and maintained Fife’s first website for 7 years Present work includes establishing the first Teaching/Learning/Innovation department in the Fife School District. Examples of responsibilities include: teacher/administrator professional development, assessment, TPEP, curriculum/materials review, 24 credit requirement, technology levy leadership, teacher/administrator bargaining. Initiatives underway in Fife, as a result of new TLI Department: AVID, OER, Curriculum and Materials reviews, Student Perception Pilot with CSTP, Google Expedition Cofounder of Educational Internet Communications, LLC. Marketed and sold one of the first online grade checking programs in the US. Consulted with Seattle Educational Internet Company for 2 years. jnelson@fifeschools.com twitter.com/jeffnelsonTLI

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