Sometimes it just takes one person or a situation that leads to a revolution (change that is).
I will never forget going to my first town meeting when I moved to Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Before entering the school gym I saw an elderly woman standing at a table that had a crudely written sign stating: How about a charter for Mashpee? I stopped to talk to her and signed up. Five of us (including my wonderful wife) started meeting. The previous attempt at developing a Home Rule Charter had failed. We succeeded in convincing the townspeople to attempt the process as we wanted more transparency and better financial reporting to be delivered. I and three other members of the original group were elected to a nine member Charter Commission. We gathered support and succeeded in producing a Home Rule Charter that the voters approved. Every time I visit the Cape I make sure to stop by that woman’s grave site.
When I first started teaching a ninth grade world history class I quickly realized my students had no knowledge of geography. I wrote a complete study of the neighborhood where I taught. I even used the census tracts to show my students that they were part of the statistics on those reports. My principal and the local elected officials praised my work. However, when I was sent to another school the Social Studies Assistant Principal told me that I could not use that curriculum. Years later I succeeded in having the forty schools in our district use it.
When I first started seeing Angela Maier’s tweets about #youmatter I saw their importance. We have to let our students, colleagues, friends, family know that they matter to us. She is spearheading a movement that I hope will spread to all classrooms and communities. My #YouMatter page.
Don’t be afraid to try something new. Not everything you try will work but you can learn from your mistakes as we should be telling our students. My Learning from Mistakes page.
“When it comes to the future, there are three kinds of people: those who let it happen, those who make it happen, and those who wonder what happened.” John M. Richardson, Jr.