The book Rocking the Boat: How to Effect Change Without Making Trouble, by Debra Meyerson was written for those who want to be agents of change within an organization. This individual is described as a "Tempered Racial". Tempered Radicals are classified 3 ways: Different social identities from the majority (self-imposed exile), social identities that does not oppose the majority differences seen as cultural differences, and those whom possess philosophical differences that oppose the majority. The author identified 5 main ways that the Tempered Radical could affect change and these descriptions were followed by stories that served as examples that at times were very relate-able to many of my experiences in the past. Reading through these experiences were thought provoking and validated my own feeling about my past of being an agent of change. The tools and strategies provided additional support to my mission and goals as an educator that I will use in the years to come.
Task One-How am I different?
As I read I identified more with the Tempered Radical classified by his/her philosophical differences. I oppose how students are evaluated here in the United States. Statistics show that our nation falls far behind other nations that are global leaders that have lead innovative breakthroughs in science and technology. In my own experience I feel that educators are pressured to chase test scores instead of promoting students to be innovative problem-solvers (maker education) and use technology as a tool for creating projects to demonstrate their knowledge of content (education technology). Integration of each content area is an ideal approach to a revised education model that aligns more with real-world challenges and creating real solutions. Allowing my students to tinker is not aligned to my curriculum, yet I allow my class to be a free space for students to explore their ideas to make something cool during math time. I have also challenged other classrooms to join our small maker movement and was happy to have some of my colleagues participate. This is just a small step in the in the flow of the global trends that I will continue to foster.
Task Two-Becoming a Tempered Radical
According to Meyers, Tempered Radicals leave their mark on the world by using resistance, encounters as opportunities to promote learning and change, learning to transform problems into negotiations, using small victories as purposeful ways to progress change and through organized bargaining. I can identify more with quietly resisting while staying true to myself. I feel that allowing students to freely design I am promoting real world problem solving which can align to math standards. I have used students to promote the challenge building-wide by showcasing work to siblings and parents, which in turn students are questioning their own teachers to participate in challenges. Although these challenges are introduced in the Science and Technology PLC, many ELA or Elective teachers may not attend due to an abundance of other after school meeting. As I move forward I will focus on learning how to use the power of negotiation to support my vision.