Thursday, October 15, 2015

One Way Ticket

I'm tired of playing it safe! Have you ever felt this way? In Education, we always seem to play it safe or take the easy road. When is the last time you truly challenged yourself and your learners? I have a friend that loves life and enjoys traveling. He lives by the philosophy...." never book round trip tickets!" He enjoys the ride and if he lands somewhere he loves, then he stays a little longer. When's the last time you acted on a crazy idea? The one where you don't return to comfort. You take a chance and you don't have the return flight in your pocket if things don't workout. You make the best of it and embrace the struggle. What if you approached your building, your classroom, or simply your planning like this? Where would it lead you? What kind of success or failures would you face?

If you really want to make a difference in Education then you have to be willing to step away from what you have always done. How do we buy those one-way tickets?

1. Quit thinking or saying..." we've always done it this way?" 

Don't let others say it and if they do, make them aware of what they are stating. Holding yourself and each other accountable is a key process in change.

2. Embrace the Struggle

It's OK not to know what is going to happen. It's OK to feel uncomfortable in the process. It's OK to just have the big idea, act on it first and then fill in the details as you go. Maintain a Growth Mindset!

3. Have people on your team that think differently

We can't all be "Yes" men or early adopters. You need to surround yourself with others that question what you are doing. A difference in perspective can lead to breakthroughs or at least make you refine your process.

4. Celebrate Early

Here is the one constant I know about Change, it's not easy and sometimes it can be hard when reality or failure steps in your way. Celebrate early victories and acknowledge that what you're doing is not the same as yesterday. One of my favorite quotes from Zig Ziglar, "the only person you should be better than, is the person you were yesterday." Not only is this fitting for us but also a great lesson for our students.

5. Attitude is Everything

It's no secret that Culture Matters. Be sure to develop this in your surroundings. The attitude you have during this process should be contagious. Stay positive and open. Learn to TRUST the process and to TRUST others on your team. Listen to others and LEARN from what they are saying. If you go in negative your results will be average at best. Go in POSITIVE and don't let setbacks ruin your day. The energy you create can transform and impact the change you seek.

This is by no means a blueprint to success but merely observations I have seen over the last couple years from my experience in education. I have had my one-way ticket for about two years now and the journey has been life changing. The question is....when will you purchase your ticket?