Oil Tanker (n): a large form of oceangoing transport, designed to carry oil from its source to a refinery, or from a refinery to its selling-point. Various size classifications, including the largest, the “ULCC – Ultra Large Crude Carriers … with DWTs of 320,000 metric tons (352,740 tons) and above – [which] are comparable in length to the height of some of the world’s tallest buildings.” (http://science.howstuffworks.com/transport/engines-equipment/oil-tanker1.htm, Accessed 2/10/14)
Oil Tanker (fig): a monolith, a huge or massive structure that is nigh impossible to shift or move.
Sometimes making changes can feel like trying to shift an oil tanker with butterfly wings. It seems like an exercise in futility; a sisyphean task, doomed to failure. These changes can be to your own classroom practice, within a department, within a school, or even within the education system as a whole. In fact, you can begin to wonder what the point is at all. What is the point of persisting in the face of what can feel at times like unrelenting, unwavering resistance?
Well, the point is that you believe in what you’re doing. You believe that your vision for what education can be, should be, is valid and important. That it will inspire real learning and engagement and empower citizenship. And that’s a very big point indeed. These are your butterfly wings.
So say yes.
Embrace the opportunities that come your way, and seek them out if they don’t. Believe people when they tell you that you can do it, even if you doubt it yourself. Tap into the help and support of others. Then, you fake it ‘til you make it and learn along the way.
Read. Challenge your thinking. Curate resources. Build your Professional Learning Network. Process your thoughts and keep a record of your learning journey. Then share and give back to the PLN who sustain and support you. And then look back at how much you’ve learned, how much you’ve grown as an educator. Because the thing with butterfly wings and oil tankers is that you don’t know how much you’ve moved until you’re suddenly facing the horizon.