As I get older I see more grey. Ya, ya, ya … the hair jokes .. I get it. Nice!
What I’m talking about are my observations that we don’t live in a binary world of ‘Yes or No’ , ‘Black or White’. We just don’t typically live in “All or Nothing” scenarios. Our world is a series of sliding position points along a continuum. It isn’t static, measured once and labeled. It is a complex, multi-dimensional, constantly evolving space.
Need proof? OK. Some examples that are right off the top of my head include:
Practice MAY make perfect
- Physical aptitude in sports
- Cooking prowess
- Home repair abilities
- Computer use
- Essay writing
The point being, we have some ability or knowledge in lots of areas — some are just more developed than others. And in many cases increased practice results in improvement.
So our world is a patchwork of grey! Different shades of ‘greyness’ which indicate our varying abilities.
Sort of like “Why did the chicken cross the road”? Maybe the better question should be “UNDER WHAT CIRCUMSTANCES did the duck cross the road”?
I think you’ll enjoy this 27 second video — the German voice over isn’t relevant — just watch the ducks and the traffic signal:
I’ve watched it a few times trying to figure out what the actual stimulus was for the lead duck — it certainly appears like he recognizes the light change. Regardless, once the right conditions were in place — in other words, a safe environment to take the risk of crossing the road — every duck took the leap of faith and walked.
Being an administrator in the public education system has meant that I’ve had a few conversations with people where the content was difficult for me to share and, in most cases, even more difficult for the other person to hear.
Some examples …
- Meeting with a student who has not achieved to their potential;
- Conversing with parents about their child’s struggles;
- Debriefing with a staff member who was not successful in an interview;
- Sharing the tragic news of a student or staff member who has died. Unfortunately, I’ve had to do this a few times in my career.