Many don't like the BIG email. I'm cognizant of that. Yet, I think there needs to be a place for BIG ideas, and I think that place has to be a place that doesn't interfere with the daily workings of the classroom and school. During the day at elementary school, it's a very detailed approach. Minute by minute you are solving problems and making decisions with and for a large number of teachers and students, and there's rarely the mind for BIG think.
Now some may respond to that by saying that it's not the job of the elementary school teacher to think big, and that's why there are people who are given the role of BIG think. The problem with this, however, is that BIG think done without teacher input or voice often results in ideas and efforts that don't relate well to educators or the students and this gap lessens the potential possible. Hence I believe there needs to be time for BIG think by all stakeholders including students, educators, administrators, families, and citizens, and this need for inclusive process results in a need to re-look at structure and share.
Without new structure and share and with a need for inclusive BIG think, I'm left with a few vehicles. First, I could choose one idea and work it up the ranks. Or I could choose one idea and work on it alone or with close colleagues. I could also talk the BIG think, but truly BIG think is usually too big for talking about it initially. Instead, when good ideas come, I simply share via email to those I think may be interested. Then they can take or leave the ideas. In a sense, I've planted seeds of possible new ideas, and if those seeds seem positive they may take root. The ideas closer to my control, I'll nurture and grow. The ideas further from me, I'll continue to plant. For example, my recent idea about an experiential elementary school campus, an idea born from a visit to the Boston Museum of Science, is an idea far from me, but an idea that's appealing to me for many reasons. So I shared the idea with a few, then a few more. I listen to people's reactions, interest, or non-interest. That listening serves to shape the idea.
As I often remark, considering the long view helps with the current effort. So considering a big idea like an experiential elementary campus helps me to think about what aspects of that glorious image can I replicate in the short term--what can I do now to build in some of that wonderful experiential learning that I noticed yesterday at The Boston Museum of Science can I employ in my work with students now and in the near future.
Overall I am a lover of ideas--I LOVE the potential ideas hold for better lives and living. I LOVE how big ideas can take horrible and life-ending events and make them promising new events. I've seen how new ideas can transform events big and small. Mostly I see the impact of positive ideas in the sparkle in children's eyes, bright smiles, and promising futures. That's when I really know an idea has merit.
We need lots of BIG, BRIGHT, BEAUTIFUL IDEAS in our world today. Many of the old ideas we've come to know don't work anymore and there's lots of room for betterment and change.
So for now, I'll give new ideas wings by sharing with those who might be interested. I'll work on the ideas that I am able to work on, and I'll listen to and support good ideas others have too. Onward.