He asked us to picture the big tidal wave that hit Indonesia in 2004. He remembers seeing videos of people as they stand on the beach and watch the tide pull back out to the ocean (which is normal during tidal waves). The people had no idea that a tidal wave was about to hit them but they were curious and slowly walked out into the sand towards the ocean to look at all the shells and animals that were now uncovered. These people were destined to die because when the wave came, they were completely swept away. These people did the wrong things and moved slowly so they died. Others had a gut feeling that something was wrong and moved slowly away from the ocean. These people did the right things but moved too slowly so they still died. Others ran away from the ocean and tried to get to high ground as quick as they could. These people did the right things and moved quickly so many of them lived. Our education system works the same way. If we do the wrong things and move slowly, we all lose. If we do the right things but move too slowly, we still lose. It is time to do the right things and do them now.
Mr. Rex talked about making changes and doing them in the four years of his term. He was told by many that it would take longer than his four years but he said he didn’t have time to take longer. When we are talking about the life of a student, four years is actually too long to make necessary changes and our students don’t have that kind of time.
I was really impressed by this metaphor and I hope those in position to make changes can do the right things in the quickest amount of time. I wish we could get past the politics and really make decisions that are in the best interest of our children but I sometimes I get discouraged and wonder if this is just a pipe dream. Thankfully there are people out there who don’t give up and who continue to try and whenever I fall down in despair, I reach out to them and they are there to pick me up, dust me off, and get me moving again. Thank you friends (my twitter friends, those who have commented on my blog, emailed me about issues, or talked to on chats!) I think together, we are moving in the right way and quick enough to hopefully ensure our survival and our students’ survival in the education system.
Photo credit: Tsunami tragedy by Aspirasi