In my circle we use the metaphor of a river with boats – you have the speedboats, the sailboats, the barges, and the rocks. The speedboats move right along with the changes – sometimes ahead of the changes. The sailboats can go with the changes – sometimes the wind changes the directions. The barges come along, but slowly. The rocks let the current run over them – refusing to move; however, they do get “molded” over time – and eventually the current is strong enough they can get swept away with it.
The key for me, as an administrator, is to not get caught up on the rocks – but steer clear so I can help the speedboats keep going, be the wind to help steer the sailboats in the right direction, and keep leading the barges.
I recently attended the CUE 2010 conference and had the pleasure of listening to Carol Anne McGuire speak. I’ll paraphrase a particularly apt comment she made.
She said something to the effect of, “My grandmother was a brain surgeon at the top of her field. That was 50 years ago. Would you have her perform brain surgery on you?”
Obviously not. Too much has changed.
Then she said, and again I’m paraphrasing, “No, actually my grandmother was a teacher. Would you have her substitute for you?”
The answer is the same. Too much has changed. We are not in the same society or world as 50 years ago. It doesn’t do anyone, especially students, any good to go on teaching like we still live in that world.
Photo Credit: Sundown at Boracay by MalNino Archival Mode