"If Only We Had the Time and Money…"
By Andrew Epstein, Synapse Learning Design
Great ideas need three things:
- community support
Start with a clear vision
A clear vision demonstrates that you've thought through your idea. It enables you to communicate a detailed picture of what could be and how to get there. Put your vision in writing and bounce it off your colleagues and students. Show it to those you think will potentially be in opposition to your idea. They will give you insights to help you refine your vision.
All the best projects that have made a difference in students' and teachers' lives have another thing in common: passionate advocates. If you feel passionate about your idea, nothing will earn you more support. It's contagious. It's also energizing and keeps us going when all seems lost. The most memorable teachers are usually the most passionate about what they're teaching. It's the same with great ideas.Find partners
Finally, remember this: you can't do it alone. Find partners who support your vision, particularly from parents and other community members. It's easy sometimes to forget that your local community is the public in public education. Find parents, professionals, business owners, community organizations, and civic associations and turn them on to your vision. Ask for letters of support, forums to voice your ideas, and enlist your new partners to spread the word.
In this section of TeacherVision, case studies will be presented to illustrate how some great ideas were hatched with few resources. We hope they will motivate you to be an agent of change in your school, district, and community. And we hope that you'll stick with your vision, despite the lack of time or money.
Featured case studies:
- Clipper Star Bank: School-Business Partnerships
- Mandala Community Art Gallery: Community-Student Partnerships
- The Demeter Project: Community Mentors
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