Proud To Push Back

Unlike Seth Godin, I am definitely not “the wizard of the short blog post” (thanks Doug Peterson for that wonderful wording), but I am someone who likes a challenge. I also consider an educator a “professional,” and I would like to add educator to the list that Seth’s created here. Doug blogged in response to Seth’s post this morning, and mentioned some of the professionals that have pushed back. Here’s what I’ve done.

  • As an educator, I’ve pushed back by blogging about my thinking and practices that may sometimes be contrary to the norm, but that I truly believe are best for kids.
  • As an educator, I’ve pushed back by openly sharing my thinking (even when difficult to do so), in order to explore other options that may work better for students, for parents, and for educators.
  • As an educator, I’ve pushed back by asking questions, by sharing wonders, and by engaging in “uncomfortable conversations” because I really think that this is how change happens and how we get better at what we do.
  • As an educator, I’ve pushed back by not using certain programs or not using them in their entirety, as I wonder if there might be richer, more meaningful, learning options for kids.

Sometimes I push back loudly: making my intentions known, but also listening to feedback, contemplating other ideas, and continuing to revamp my approach. Sometimes I push back quietly: often working alone or as part of a small group, trying out options, reflecting, and trying again. Eventually I will share, but sometimes not until I’ve collected data and can show the success of this push back. I’m a proud “educational troublemaker,” and I know that I’m not alone in being one. If pushing back means helping children more, I’m happy to push back. What about you? Educators, administrators, and parents, how do you “push back?”


4 thoughts on “Proud To Push Back

  1. Aviva,

    Love this post! I too push back often – for me what is best for kids is always at the heart of the “push”.

    I ask a lot of questions – even those that some people would prefer not to hear or have to answer. I want to know the reasons “why” we are being asked to do things as educators – is it really all about the kids?

    I push back by doing more for students and their families, than many of my colleagues even consider. They don’t necessarily like it, but it is what is needed. Have have heard feedback along the lines of “you create an expectation that we don’t want to have to fulfill” – what I do to get families involved in their child’s education (communication, added meetings, etc) is necessary to build student success – I won’t apologize for that.

    Often I do things quietly – I don’t like to be the centre of attention – but sometimes a louder voice is needed to speak for those who are not being heard. Finding the right balance is key to being effective at encouraging change in others.

    Keep up the amazing work you do!

    • Thanks for your comment, Sarah! I love how you mentioned that kids are at the heart of your push back. We definitely agree on this one. Pushing back to “do more for students and their families” is absolutely wonderful. I’m thrilled that you mentioned this home component. Like you, I tend to push back quietly most of the time, or maybe I just push back a little more “anonymously” often using my blog as the tool (versus a conversation), but if it’s important enough, I am more vocal. I think a part of it is also in “how” we push back, and asking questions and encouraging dialogue make a lot of sense to me. Many thanks for adding to this important conversation!


  2. Well the way I see it is that you only create enemies if you have actually stood for something. It is great to see fellow educators who are willing to see the bigger picture and challenge that which they see is wrong. Kia Kaha as we say in NZ.

    • Thanks for your comment, Michael! I like to see it as presenting an alternative perspective. If nothing else, these push backs lead to some great conversations and the start of some small changes. I think we need to be careful about when we push back, why we do, and how we do, but if it’s about “doing what’s best for kids,” then pushing back makes sense to me.


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