Friday, March 20, 2015

People often say the most dangerous words in education are, "we have always done it that way".  I want to amend that to the most dangerous two words in education are, "I can't".  I heard those words this week while attending a training, not exactly like that, it was more a series of excuses why someone could not do something to better their classroom experience for students.  The message was the same, "I can't".

We as educators can not deal with our students saying, "I can't do that" or "this is too tough", so how do we allow ourselves to be defeated before we even try?  My first response was, "what have you tried?" To which the response was, "nothing".  Interesting revelation in the evolution of this person's classroom.

So I have asked myself for the last 3 days since this conversation, how can some of us educators be so fixed in this mindset.  Some are not even able to mourn the idea of change, because the idea of change is not even on their radar.

Is it upbringing, lack of being connected, mindset, too many negative experiences, not enough education, what is it?  UGGHHH! I don't know.... That is the problem! Three days of deep thinking, talking with connected friends, and local friends, and I am no closer to figuring out how some educators get stuck in this "I can't" rut.

Then I realized something... I do everything I can as a leader to lead and hope that some people follow that lead.  I try to model, explain, challenge, and maybe even inspire at times in hopes that the teachers I work with will see the value in "our" vision and want to be better and never say "I can't".  But I realized something... Sometimes as a leader it is our responsibility to say, "this is what we are going to do, and you either get with the vision, or (fill in the blank).

Like I said at the beginning of this, I met this person at a training and will probably have no other interactions with them, but the mindset is out there, unfortunately more than we would like to see.  I know you have run into a person or people with this "I can't" mindset.  Those that perceive roadblocks that aren't there and quit before even trying.  So I plead with my other fellow leaders, who may work closely with these personalities, try to guide them, coach them, inspire them, but if that does not work, have the guts to say, "You are going to try this or (fill in the blank)".

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