I finished Adam Grant’s book Think Again this summer. Adam makes the point in the book that traditional intelligence is the ability to think and learn. Adam makes the argument that real intelligence is the ability to RETHINK and UNLEARN.
We can get so steeped in our beliefs that we rarely take the time to rethink what we believe as truth and relearn a better path to that idea. As teachers, we believe we know the best way to teach our subject. But, are these methods really what works best, or are they just what we believe are the best based on what we believe we know to be fact.
We do not often get opportunities in education to hit the reset button. The start of this school year after the past 18 months of chaos gives us that exact opportunity. We learned a great deal from the past year. We hope we never have to do some of those things again, but there we some great pieces of learning that led to better engagement, relevance, and student ownership. Our challenge as we start a new year is to rethink what we did before the pandemic started. Were there some great things we did – YES! Were there some things we did just because that is the way we had always done them – YES!
Our ability to rethink and unlearn as we begin this school year will be vital to our success. The past 18 months have been more than a nudge to educational practices. Our goal needs to be to take that nudge and not push back. Keep what we learned from the past year and find how to integrate those things with best practices from the past.
It is our opportunity to get better this year. It is our mission to continue to serve our diverse community with our new learning!