Wednesday, July 30, 2014

But I've already got too much on my plate...

One of the many beauties of working in education is the constantly changing environment in which we work.

As society evolves and as new technologies become available, the opportunities that are available in our classrooms and in our schools are plentiful and exciting. Additionally, as we learn more and more about learning theories and their impact on the brain, we are bombarded with new ideas and new approaches to student learning.

With all this excitement comes the challenge of the 'plate.'

So, we are all given a plate and most of us have our plates pretty full. Most of us have more to do than there are hours in the day. Most of us struggle to find the time to truly address what's on our plate.

One of the things we struggle with in education is balancing what we currently have on our plates and those things we want to add to our plates.  We also must consider those things we don't add to our plates because there's not room.

Here's the thing, with all the new thoughts on student learning and with all the new opportunities that are available as a result of technology, the quality of stuff we can add to our plates is at times better than the quality of stuff that already fills our plates.

A choice must be made...

A choice to take something off to make room for something new...

This is a common and frequent conversation within the walls of school districts. It's the type of conversation that gets people 'fired up' and 'passionate' if you know what I mean.

But, I must fall on one side of the fence... and the side of the fence I fall on is the side that says, 'yes, I'd love to try that because I think it will help our students.'

Far too often we shut the door on possibility because we become married to what we've always done and what we are comfortable with.

Here's my advice, take a chance and push something that isn't producing off of you plate and replace it with something that has potential.

Obviously in the beginning you won't know if this change will pan out or not, but if it has potential then that is better than something you know isn't working.

Take a few minutes and consider your 'yes' ratio when it comes to trying something new and experimenting with a new approach.

Hint... if you are more frequently saying 'no' and keeping all those things you've always done on your plate, then I think you may be missing out.

Better yet... I think your students may be really missing out too...