Today I was binge-watching a show called George Saves the Day. PSA: You should watch it it is great but prepare to cry. George completes amazing renovations for deserving families: renovation of a house for a family whose son has been battling cancer, a family with 4 kids two of whom have autism, a family whose teenage daughter lost her eyesight...it goes on and on...
George was speaking with a designer and she said "I don't do trendy, I do on-trend."
That statement really hit me as an educational leader. Trendy is great for today but may not stand the test of time while being on-trend does. This happens in education too, for those of you around as long as me, you know exactly what I am talking about.
Don't be trendy, be on-trend.
I did a search of the hot new trends in education and here you have it:
Trendy: Individualized learning ✅
On Trend: Hey, we've been doing this. Have you heard of differentiation of instruction? You know, differentiation by content, process, or product? 💟
Trendy: Development of Soft Skills. ✅
On Trend: I guess they haven't heard of character education, and the push all schools have had on SEL over the past I don't know....20 years.💟
Trendy: Blended Learning ✅
On Trend: COVID closures have pushed us closer to doing this more organically, but we have been doing this in education as long as we have had carts of laptops. IReady, Read180, Symphony Math and so many more. Teachers often use this as "centers" when they are meeting in small groups on "like" skills 💟
Trendy: Learning with the help of the body ✅
On Trend: Multi-sensory education has always been around. Learning styles, Gardner, Arts Integration.....and so many others 💟
Trendy: Gamification ✅
On Trend: Using incentives and games to motivate students and meeting their needs. Whole Brain Teaching, Fast Forward, iReady, simple classroom games that integrate curriculum. 💟
Here is my point: If you are an educational leader, don't get caught up on the TRENDY stuff, drill down to what the TRENDY stuff is saying and figure out how to be ON TREND with it. 🎯
Nothing makes teachers more anxious than constantly introducing new initiatives. If you do come along something truly amazing and revolutionary, pilot it and if you get great results then roll it out with the whole staff in a coordinated way, hopefully at the beginning of the year or semester.
Judiciously pick your initiatives.
In love, leadership, and friendship,
P.S. If you would like to know more about how I help leaders like you achieve their goals, check out a free training session here.