Get Out of the Way (of Experimental Thinking…)

July 1, 2012

Hitting the last day of school for teachers, I had a big lesson reconfirmed for me today. Typically, teachers are exhausted, tired, short on patience, grumpy and very ready to hit their well-earned holidays. What I saw from our amazing staff on the last day for teachers was that, yes they are tired, but they are ready and raring to go for the 2012-13 school year…

There is a ton of excitement around some of the projects and initiatives going on, as well as just being able to do the work that they feel passionate about. I would say a huge part of this ability to demonstrate passion and excitement comes from one major factor. I believe our teachers feel that they are supported in and are able to take risks. They know that their leadership team and their peers, the other teachers, will be supporting them in doing so. They know that we have their backs!

As a teacher and administrator, I have had a ton of different ideas, some were fantastic and worked out amazingly, others were fantastic ideas that just did not work out so wonderfully, but I always had someone there to support me and to enable me in doing the work I needed to do.

There were many times that past Principals I worked with were not totally sure about the idea that I wanted to move forward with, and raised their concerns and ideas, but in the end recognized that there was potential and that it was worth a chance.

Allowing me to experiment always paid off, whether that actual idea worked or not. Trying new ideas was always worth the effort, as it set me up in a certain way of thinking. It was enabling us to get past the old comment, “That is how it has always been done at _________ School.” (I am sure you have all heard that one before!) It has also allowed others to start to take risks, by demonstrating that it was okay to do so. Supporting a staff in this work will pay off for our students in the end, as it challenges us to move out into the frontier, and move education and learning forward.

For all those administrators out there that supported me in this work (you know who you are!), I thank you for the confidence that you showed in me to be able to do that, and for enabling the confidence that I am able to show in my amazing staff to be able to do the same thing. If there is one saying I think we need to continue to live by, it has to be “get out of the way” of experimental thinking!


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