Get Away from the Shoreline

She was sinking, trapped, fighting to not drown.  How did she get here?  How did she get so far away? Would someone help her?  Could she help herself? She sat there in her classroom looking at that room full of chairs, the curriculum in front of her, and she felt … lost.

As an educator, we have so many pressures and shoulds thrown our way.  Education is ever changing, ever evolving, and yet some things remain so stagnant and old.  It reminds me of the song, “Old Hippie.”  “Does he hold on to old or does he grab on to the new?” How do you decide what to do without drowning? How do you innovate while fulfilling what is deemed by the school curriculum and administrators?

First-things-first, let’s be clear if you are so scared of the ocean (wave of change) or what is lurking out there, and you stay next to the shoreline your whole career you will never experience the magic of what could be. Remember, the world outside the school and classroom has a constant influx of information and changes taking place.

According to Empower’s authors, John Spencer and A. J. Juliani, “We don’t have to change the entire system in order to give our students a different experience.”

Before you jump in, consider a few things.

Look for your true North- What is in your heart?  What makes you want to be a teacher? What are the beliefs or passions that are core to your mission?  While you play and venture from the shoreline to discover new adventures, the shore,  just like your mission should stay in view.

Don’t forget that you are never finished learning- What do you see that can help you or what can you revisit to get you back on track?

The moment you stop swimming, you will inevitably drown- One of my favorite characters of all time is Dory in Disney’s Nemo.  She is supposed to be a side character but isn’t it funny how those side characters are the ones that can have the most poignant dialogues (hold that thought for another day).  Dory says,”Just keep swimming, just keep swimming.” She gets into some very dire situations, but she shines in the next movie as she remains up for anything to make it happen.

I have read Innovator’s Mindset several times and I keep going back to some of the wonderful messages within. Couros discusses that innovation for mere change sake is not how we should approach situations.  Innovation with time in thought, along with open eyes, and an open mind is how we can delve deeper and enjoy what the sea of learning has to offer.

In the book Innovator’s Mindset George states, “Change is an opportunity to do something amazing.”

Get away from the shoreline and find something amazing!




2 thoughts on “Get Away from the Shoreline

  1. Thanks for the reminder about the importance of looking to our “true north”. This is so important for us as educators as individuals and in supporting our students as well. Insightful post with lovely images and metaphors.Thanks so much for sharing.

  2. I completely resonated with your intro. I am in the mist of feeling that way right now. This will be my 12th year teacher and LOST completely describes how I feel. Your three points are important reminders to not “feel the burn” of burning out. Looking forward to Innovator’s Mindset for the first time. Glad to know it will be one I will return to!

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