Saturday, August 31, 2013

We need more misfits...

We live in a culture where asking 'why' and asking for clarification can be looked at as overstepping ones boundaries. Additionally, a simple request for more information can turn some people into feeling they need to be on the defensive. We say we want collaboration and teamwork but yet our actions at times don't always exactly match up. Misfits don't see a problem with asking 'why' and asking for justification.

We also live in a culture where there is a perception that playing it save and maintaining the status quo are the necessary steps to getting ahead. I feel pretty confident that this 'play it safe' mindset may have worked in the past, but I just don't think it has the same effect as it once did. Some of the greatest inventions and discoveries were a result of not playing it safe and avoiding the status quo at all costs. Misfits don't base their actions on what is safe and what is 'status quo.'

+Scott McLeod (@mcleod)
Now, don't take this too far. We don't need you or anyone else going off the deep end when it comes to pushing the envelope. Yes, in an ideal world asking for clarification and more information shouldn't be frowned upon, it should be encouraged. Likewise, we should create and support environments where we can try new things and explore what has yet to be explored.

Remember, everything needs to have some sense of control and pre-planned purpose. All misfits know when it's appropriate to question and when to push, and when it's more appropriate to be patient and wait another day. Misfits also know when it's appropriate to go with the flow and when it's appropriate to approach the depths of the unknown.

What kind of culture do you have in your building or your district? Are misfits allowed or are they banished to their own separate island?
What would your colleagues say about you? Are you a misfit... do you ask 'why' and question the status quo... do you look for what others haven't yet seen?

How do you respond when your colleagues or students act like misfits? Do you get defensive... do you judge them... do you try to control them and limit their 'misfitness?'

Lastly, what are you doing to encourage more misfit like behavior in your school or district?