Saturday, January 21, 2012

Are you a "Linchpin?"

I am currently re-reading one of Seth Godin's most popular books, "Linchpin." Next week PBJHS's book club will be meeting to discuss this book and how it relates to what we do on a daily basis as educators. As I go through my second reading of the book, I am continually pushed to be reflective about how I view society, as well as how I view my role as an educator. As most things with education, there is definitely nothing black and white, and Godin does an impeccable job of pushing us further into the deep shades of grey...

Here are some thoughts that are circling my mind of late:

- How often do you reward compliance & structure over creativity and challenging the status quo...?

- Can you be easily replaced in your current position? What are you doing to make yourself irreplaceable?

- More importantly... what are you doing to help ensure your students are getting the skills they need to be irreplaceable?

- Are you preparing your students for jobs where they only need to follow directions, or are you preparing them to be self-sufficient rational thinkers capable of making their own decisions?

- How do you function when given autonomy and freedom? How do your students function when given autonomy and freedom? Your answer here says a lot...

- Do you avoid fearful situations or do you respond to your fear with control and poise?

- Are you putting an emphasis on things that are quantifiable, or are you putting an emphasis on things that are very difficult to quantify?

- Are you afraid to act because you want it to be perfect before acting, or are you willing to sacrifice perfection for action?

- Do you live a life driven by humanity and emotion? Are you willing and able to make connections where others will not... are you willing to go to the edge for something that's never been done?

- Have you accepted the new value of information and the new currency with which we will determine overall success? - it has nothing to do with money or power...

- I am very much so looking forward to the book club discussion next week as I have had several sidebar conversations with teachers. This book will push your thinking and probably make you feel uncomfortable about your position in life. Though every idea in this book may not be practical or doable in your current situation, Godin makes a strong case for changing the way we do things. Are you ready to be a "Linchpin...?"