“Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound……”
….Superman? No, not really. Looking back over the past several years in competency education, perhaps SuperPioneer is a more apt superhero symbol. In the early days of competency education, the road ahead of us was somewhat unchartered, with unknown hazards and delays along the way. The early pioneers were a bit lonely without the familiar guideposts and waypoints that normally give direction. GPS? No such thing. But one thing could be counted on—with each rising of the sun, we were that much closer to journey’s end.
What is the story that you will tell of your journey down the road to competency education? What legacy will you leave to those who follow in your district after you step off the path? These may seem like silly questions, but I do believe they are important ones. You see, we are at a unique time in the history of education. In leaving behind what some people are already calling the “dark era in education,” we find ourselves at that fork in the road where we can either forge new experiences unleashed from the past, or we can choose the path that guarantees the journey ahead will repeat the last hundred miles.
In choosing the path that takes us to new adventures, we may have to lighten our load and find new resources. Now, is this starting to sound and feel familiar, SuperPioneer? The lesson in all this is really about being of brave heart, about being courageous and optimistic that our journey’s end will be close at hand, and knowing that we survived the bad weather, floods, droughts, and dangers along the way.
So fellow pioneers, take heart. Others have heard the stories of your journey and are beginning to gather their resources to join you. Share your wisdom, your trials and tribulations, and your stories. They will enlighten, inspire, and urge others to take the bold first leg of the journey in a new era for teaching and learning.
Rose Colby is an experienced educator. She taught high school biology and chemistry and has served as assistant principal and principal at several middle and high schools. She has been working with schools to develop competency-based learning and assessment models for the past three years. She is the co-author with Fred Bramante of Off the Clock: Moving from Time to Competency.