What Educators Can Learn from Barack Obama

barack obama

So, Barack Obama won the presidential election. While we will  undoubtedly speak about him in many ways in the times ahead, I am focusing on what we can learn from him right now.

So, what can we (or at least I) learn from Barack?

  1. The mantra “Yes We Can” is positive reinforcement. Decide something, and then keep plugging away at it until it is accomplished. Students are unsure of their abilities? Anxiety over a new teaching responsibility? Lessons challenged by people with different worldviews? Teach we shall – Yes We Can!
  2. Don’t let people tell you what you can do. If you believe you can be president, then work to make it real. Color or race are no longer barriers. There is nothing that cannot be done if you work hard enough. Yes, this is lofty and a stretch goal, but what worth accomplishing is not?
  3. The slogan “Change We Can Believe In” may be scary at times if there is a politics of fear, but it is also common sense. If what we are doing now does not work as we want it, then change. Not getting the grades? Do not understand something? Disagree with some framework? Change happens by changing methods and approaches—only we can fully change our own perspectives. And, this is not easy and it may leave us alone at times, but change is the only thing that helps us move forward.

I expect to think about this more in the weeks ahead, and am interested in what learning others may have around this . . .