I know one thing for sure, and that is- it is not easy being a teacher. Along with this fact, there are three other hard truths I have learned.
Discomfort is ok.
Seth Godin, a best selling author who has a blog and Twitter account I absolutely love, says in his book Linchpin: Are you Indispensable? that “the road to comfort is crowded and it rarely gets you there. Ironically, it’s those who seek out discomfort that are able to make a difference and find their footing…Discomfort means you’re doing something that others were unlikely to do, because they’re too busy hiding in the comfortable zone.” He is right.
Your Idea May Fail.
Sometimes people hesitate to try something new, such as implementing technology in the classroom, or trying a new approach to lesson because it has not been done before or they are scared of change. The idea is “if it works, then you have to do it. Then you have to do it again. Then you have to top it. If it works, your world changes” (Godin). If your idea does not work, then you go back to where you started. Some teachers are stuck in this memorization and regurgitation mode because that is all they know, but could you imagine if the students embraced that mentality all their lives? Repetition soon becomes comfortable, and once that happens nothing is challenging and we come full circle to Ken Robinson’s truth, that Schools Kill Creativity.
Some People do not want you to Succeed
Simply put “the temptation to sabotage the new thing is huge, precisely because the new thing might work” (Godin). I think back to certain times in my career where I witnessed, or experienced the criticism for new, different, approaches to teaching. Upon reflection, I realize that it is easy to criticize anyone who is doing something different because if he or she succeeds, it is likely that you’ll have to do something different too. God forbid people leave their comfort zone. At the same time, and this is Godin speaking here, isn’t it rather sad that some people “excessively criticize the work of [their] peers, thus unrealistically raising the bar for [their] own work.”
Please continue being great. If you are not trying to do great things, send me a Snapchat from the comfort zone because all you have probably fits in ten seconds or less.