Take a Step Forward
This past week has been emotionally draining with no sign of letting up. While my current goal is to publish a blog post every Monday (which I typically write ahead of time during the week prior), the days went by and I had no energy, no head space, and no inspiration to find a path to write. So, I did what I usually do when this happens… I stepped away and I baked (because that makes me happy, and who doesn’t love pumpkin scones as fall rolls in). And then, I consumed content with the intent to create. I read books and blog posts. I had conversations with colleagues. I listened to podcasts. Still, I found it hard. My mind was busy processing other things. I even told myself that if I couldn’t come up with anything, surely a blog post sharing my pumpkin scones recipe would do…
Then, on the drive home from picking up my son from a birthday party this weekend, I was listening to episode 69 of the Aspire podcast by Josh Stamper. This episode featured George Couros and Katie Novak and their new book, Innovate Inside the Box, and George’s answer to a big question made me want to shout it from the rooftops (thankfully, sparking this post and sparing you from a pumpkin scone one!)
Josh: For those starting their ‘innovate in a box’ journey, what advice do you have for them?
George: When we’re looking at ‘where do we start?’, I think a lot of people look at this book [Innovate Inside the Box], or The Innovators Mindset, or UDL Now that Katie wrote prior to this, and they feel almost like “where do I begin?’. It becomes overwhelming that they see their classes as one way and then we present ideas where classrooms maybe look an entirely different way or perception. So for me, it’s looking at something that you do that’s tied to the curriculum and asking yourself “is there a way I can implement this [new idea] now?” I think making those changes, one step at a time, and going through that process to see what worked and what didn’t work… and learning through that process, is important. Once you get to a point of “okay, I understand this,” you move to your second area. But I think that when we think “okay, I have to totally change everything I do immediately, right now,” it becomes too overwhelming, and we actually do nothing. Starting with one thing is where change starts to happen. We can’t get into the “all or nothing” mindset. Focus on trying one thing at a time to help us move forward.”
No matter where you are on your journey, just move forward. Just start. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed with all of the new ideas, the research, and when comparing yourself to what others are doing. But you are not them. Whatever you do, just take a step. Don’t stand still. Pick up a book that interests you. Ask colleagues to have lunch together so you can pick their brains about something they’re doing that you want to know more about. Hop onto social media to expand your thinking, either by lurking, engaging, or creating. Read blog posts or listen to podcasts. Seek out PD that aligns with your passions.
Find a path that interests you.
Your students deserve it.
Ps – If you’re dying for pumpkin scones, I don’t blame you. Here’s the recipe I’ve been using for years 😉