Turns out, planning is guessing. That just throws a wrench into things, doesn’t it?
Ray McNulty, the Chief Learning Officer at Penn Foster, said, “If you want to do something, do it. Quit trying to do it.”
I’m a planner. I want to see the end result before I start moving the pieces. But McNulty is right. The best learning comes from doing.
Take a look at a few of reforms we’re in the midst of implementing in this state: the switch to Oklahoma C3 Standards, A-F Report Cards for Schools, Teacher and Leader Effectiveness, third-grade graduation. We can, have and should plan – envisioning all the ways this will affect the adults and the children in our schools. But at the end of the day, we must do. As McNulty pointed out, some of us will be retired by the time some of our long-range plans come to full fruition. Meanwhile, kindergartners become first-graders; middle-schoolers move to high school; graduates go to college; college graduates enter the work force.
If we are going to ensure each child is college, career and citizen ready by 2020, we must start now.
McNulty spoke on the last day of our Vision 2020 summer education conference. It was a Friday after the Thunder lost, but I hope everyone in attendance heard his message.
“We’re not here to make a better 20th Century School,” he pointed out. We’re here to look to the future.
Each of the dynamic speakers who spoke to us during the conference shared the sentiment.
Dr. Bill Daggett, founder and CEO of the International Center for Leadership in Education, gave us graphic examples of technologies that are changing classrooms worldwide, from Google goggles to learning games, such as Sushi Monster, which teaches math to children.
Teacher Ron Clark delivered a dynamic, engaging talk that made us each hungry to care more about children and to teach them in fun and inventive ways. I know I want to go for a ride down that giant blue slide at his Ron Clark Academy.
Dr. Joseph Renzulli challenged us to teach to the gifted and talented child, which in turn will lead to improvements in learning for all children.
I’m excited by what I heard. I hope the more than 5,200 attendees who joined us are excited as well. Thank you for taking the time during the summer to listen and be trained in the latest teaching methods by some of the brightest minds in education from both inside and outside of the state. I hope you reenter your classrooms in the fall with new enthusiasm and fresh insight on how to incorporate innovations for 21st Century learning. Thank you, also, to my staff who worked tirelessly for months to put together this conference. And thank you to our speakers and presenters for your time and enthusiasm.
With everyone’s help, we can make our vision a reality.