Change Can Be Difficult in Education – Well, We Need to Get Over That!

Full disclosure … I like predictability.

Predictability doesn’t equal Innovation

I like knowing that certain things have order and certain outcomes will occur. My science training conditioned me to make order out of disorder — to put things into virtual ‘buckets’ of similarities. I am conditioned to align characteristics and form inter-relationships between things.   Once something is in a bucket I prefer that it stays there and doesn’t move.

Predictability brings me comfort.

Predictability = Security

Why Did the Duck Cross the Road? A Story of Readiness

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.

Continue reading

Happy New (School) Year – It’s More Than “It’s a Living”

Happy New Year everyone!  I hope that your summer was glorious.  As the calendar turned to August my mind turned to the year ahead.  I wondered about what to write for my first blog of the new year.  Then one day while having a conversation with my mom I was reminded about something funny at the movies … many, many, MANY years ago.

The story goes something like this …

movie theatre

Going to the Movies with Mom

When I was a young boy of about 5 or 6 I went to the movies with my mom.  As we were waiting for the movie to start we both noticed another little boy moving between the aisles focused entirely on picking up litter.  We were impressed and my mom told him what a good thing he was doing.  He shrugged his shoulders, “It’s a Living”.

It was hard not to laugh and if I’m truthful I probably did — I don’t actually remember.  I do remember that he was very serious about his job — it was important work.  He was making a difference.  It was his work.

PADS

Dogs Make a Big Difference in the Lives of Others

As we recalled this story it actually caused me to reflect a bit about my own work in education.  As I am now in my 50s — certainly now with more of my career behind me than in front of me — I sometimes stop and wonder about the impact I’ve had on people in our schools and at the board office:

  • Have I made a difference?  A really positive difference?
  • Have I taken some chances?  Taken enough risks?
  • Will I have any regrets when I do retire?

Continue reading