Wisdom Begins with Wonder

Wait ’till next year

Why put off for next year what you can do today (or at least tomorrow)?

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In the 1940′s and 1950′s, the Brooklyn Dodgers fans’ rallying cry was, “wait ’til next year!”  The team would come close to a championship only to lose the World Series (usually to the hated Yankees).  This fan attitude showed undying loyalty to the status quo and may have enable team management to not ‘go for broke, knowing the fans would keep coming back.

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Why is it in education that when we recognize a problem, we say, “wait ’till next year?”

We’ll revise the student handbook next year…

I’ll try project based learning (or standards based grading, inquiry, etc). next year…

We’ll change the way we to professional development next year…

Why not today?

It goes beyond procrastination and into fear. Yes, I know a new school year is a fresh start and a clean slate and a great time to implement new things. That being said, if a change can be made now, today, why wait?

This mentality is why many teachers repeat their first year of teaching every year. They wait until the new school year to make a change. Over the summer, the urgency for change dims. They forget the frustration of the previous year. They blame the group of kids they had or their circumstances. Then it happens again and they decide that next year is REALLY going to be the year. And the cycle repeats.

If you see a problem in your classroom, do something about it today.

If you see a problem in your school, put a fix in motion today.

Get students and/ or staff involved.  Brainstom solutions. Pick one. Try it. Monitor the results.

Tweak, revise, rethink, scrap, try again. Maybe this year will be crazy but you’ll learn alot that you can implement next year from a position of experience.

Today is too important; not to mention tomorrow and all of the tomorrows before next year!



5 comments ↓

  • #   Phil on 12.15.10 at 1:18 pm     

    Couldn’t agree more. Like Nike, Just Do It. Fear is definitely a factor in these decisions to procrastinate and I can say it definitely gets easier with time. The more you take risks the more likely it is that you will again.

    The hardest part is that first step, but let me tell you, it is so worth it.


  • #   Pernille Ripp on 12.16.10 at 5:50 am     

    Yes to this whole post! As teachers, we are very good at creating piles, lists and projects without ever really getting to all of them. This is such a strong reminder of what we need to do, the urgency with which we must teach. Thank you.


  • #   Naomi Epstein on 12.17.10 at 12:28 pm     

    I’ve just been commenting on a post from the blog “The Line” discussing the flip side of your call to action! Amazing that both blogs are discussing different sides of the same coin at the same time! As a veteran teacher I know that projects and initiatives sometimes need another school year to come to fruition!

    My comments and the link to the post are here:
    http://visualisingideas.edublogs.org/


  • #   Naomi Epstein on 12.17.10 at 12:40 pm     

    P.S to that – Here’s another person who’s been writing about why people procrasinate and how that is relevant in the classroom – very interesting!

    http://mistercsedublog.blogspot.com/2010/10/why-students-and-now-habit.html


  • #   Mr. Rice on 12.19.10 at 4:17 pm     

    Phil – I keep telling myself this. It’s become a bit of a mantra and has me teaching with greater urgency and pushing my colleagues to move forward in their instruction as well.

    Pernille – obviously we need to prioritize because we can’t do it all. The really important things, though, can’t wait!

    Naomi – There is something to be said for sticking with things and not giving up on valuable work too soon. I’m certainly not arguing for jumping from idea to idea willy nilly! Yet, there is a difference between sticking with something important until you’ve given it sufficient effort and doing nothing now and waiting until next year. Thanks for sharing that post – although the ideas were different sides of a coin – they are not in opposition!


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