November 21, 2017
They say there are nine places in the United States where you can still see the marks of the Conestoga wagons. As you may predict, most of them are in rural areas of the western edge of the midwest to western states of Kansas and Nebraska. These ruts represent so many, many families and individuals that followed the exact same path out to what they hoped was fortune.
In education, we rarely have the luxury of a known path. We often have our path changed for us or realize because of situational phenomena, it’s time to change ourselves. The good news is that disequilibrium strengthens your core. It’s true or so I hear. The school building is full of yoga balls to strengthen our cores and heighten our engagement. So a little change is good.
A little change is good, but often change isn’t little. Several curriculums change at once, your class changes, your room changes, your colleagues change. A lot changes. So what do we do when change is hard?
They say that an unexamined life isn’t worth living and so perhaps is our attitude toward change. We are all positive about teaching our students flexibility and positive mindset and ‘not yet’, but when it comes to our own little patch in the sun, we struggle sometimes. I say, that’s ok.
Growth is a messy, imperfect process. If we weren’t out there experimenting with change and new and a little scary, what kind of example for our future innovators would we be setting?
So just for today, this week, this month, this school year, let’s take some teaching risks. Let’s move away from the ruts of the paths of the past. Let’s try some new things.
It’s a good time to think of that kindergarten book we used to love.
13. When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands, and stick together.