What if you stop asking “What if?”
What if you stop worrying about what might go wrong?
What if you start imagining the possibilities?
What if you just jump in?
What do you have to lose?
Here is your staff update for May 27th.
I grew up in a small town with deep-rooted traditions. We did things because that’s the way we had always done them. To this day, when I go back to that small town, nothing much has changed. Don’t get me wrong; I loved growing up in a small town. I loved that everyone knew each other and I loved how simple things were.
After leaving that small town and getting my very first teaching job in the big city, it took me a long time to realize that not everyone thought the way I thought or had the same values that I had. I had to learn to accept different opinions, different ways of life, different beliefs and different expectations. Moving away from that small town in my early 20s forced me to open my eyes to learning to live with and work with many different people. I had to take a leap of faith. For the first time in my life, I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t know the cashier at the grocery store or the people who were driving the cars that I passed as I drove to and from work. I didn’t know the families of my students like I did back in my small hometown. But, by taking the leap of faith many years ago, I grew. I changed. I learned. I became a different person. I didn’t abandon or discount all that I learned growing up in my small town. Instead, I expanded my view of the world.
I tell the story of this leap of faith because as educators, it’s very easy to get stuck in the “way we’ve always done things” mentality. It’s easy to be afraid to take a leap of faith.
I challenge you to think of a time when something made you uncomfortable. Think about the excuses that went through your head; the “what ifs,” the “yea buts,” the doubts, and the complaints.
Now, think about a time that despite those “what ifs,” you did it anyway. Think about a time that you jumped in; a time you took a leap of faith. What was the pay off? In what ways did you grow and change? Where are you today simply because you took a chance when something was scary?
Right now, we are all taking a leap of faith. We’re jumping in head first as we redesign elementary education. We don’t know what to expect. This isn’t the way we’ve always done it. I can’t predict the outcome, but what I can predict is that we’ll learn, our students will learn, we’ll grow, our students will grow, we’ll change and our students will change.
Thanks for taking the leap with me.
Here is your staff update for May 20th.
Need I say more?
We've got this...
Here is your staff update for May 13th.
At the end of last school year, my staff and I were charged with the task of redesigning elementary education. This was a scary request for us because each day we are entrusted with providing the best education possible for our students. Who were we to redesign something that has been the same for so long? Then, I realized there were no better people to be asked to redesign education than amazing teachers who were so passionate about doing what was best for kids. In the words of Steve Jobs, “It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and then tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.” So, we started off on a journey to question the status quo, dream big, and imagine the unimaginable. We haven’t completed our journey; we won’t ever do that. But, we’re well on our way to discovering a new way to engage students and make learning meaningful. A few weeks ago I wrote about the mess we made. The following post illustrates how our mess has turned into piles. Still not completely organized, but piles at least.
A few weeks ago we made a mess! A really, really big one. We began to question everything we believed about education.
We questioned our purpose.
We questioned what we thought was best for kids.
We even questioned how we should organize our classrooms and our teaching teams.
After the dust settled and we began sifting through the mess we made, we started to see all of our ideas as more than just things we needed to throw away or put back where they once were. Instead, we were able to begin to sort our mess in to piles. As we sorted, we of course threw some things away. We also uncovered ideas that we didn’t really like anymore, but as we sorted we also discovered that buried amidst the mess were glimmers of new ideas. Many of these new ideas aren’t fully developed yet, but they’re a start. We don’t have all of the answers yet, in fact, we won’t ever have all of the answers. Still, we’re turning our unorganized mess into piles. We just might rearrange our piles several more times before we land on something we are ready to invest in. But, we’re on our way. And, we’d never be where we are right now if we’d been too afraid to make a mess.
My advice to all educators is this:
Make a mess. You just might find exactly what you’ve been looking for within it.
Here is your staff update for May 6.