Status Quo

Status Quo

Recently, my daughter had to make an important decision. She had to decide if she wanted to maintain status quo. Would she stay with what was comfortable and easy, but overall incredibly unsatisfying or step outside of her comfort zone and do something different, something uncomfortable, something scary, but something that was ripe with opportunity and potential.


I am proud to say that she went for the latter choice. It’s easy to stay safe, it’s easy to encourage the safe choice. After all, if it’s safe, as a parent we know what to expect, as an individual, things become more predictable, life gets easier. But life shouldn’t be about predictability, it should be rich and exciting and satisfying. Our experiences should push us as human beings, they should stretch our comfort zones and our minds. Experiences should expose us to new things, different ways of thinking, new people, new ideas. Safe is boring, safe rarely helps us grow and become better stewards of our communities, our amazing planet and ultimately our families and ourselves.

Over and over again in my school, I see safe choices. Maybe it’s a student that is good at school, always following the directions, staying with the lines, aiming for the right grade rather than the learning. Maybe it’s a teammate that hangs back and watches everyone else manipulate an idea, a new design, a question, an experiment, only stepping in when he is one hundred percent sure that he has it covered. Maybe it’s a teacher that sticks to what he knows, what he is comfortable with and what has successfully worked for him in the past even though it’s not working anymore. Maybe it’s an administrator that doesn’t want to rock the boat by encouraging her teachers to think differently.

I’ve never been what I would call a safe person. I certainly take more than my share of risks. You might not look at me or talk to me for the first time and think this, but I do. I like to say that I embrace, welcome and often times look for change. Many of my risks, my “jumping of the cliff” moments have occurred within the confines of my own classroom. Some have led to great things, some have led to massive failures. Despite the risks that I have taken within my classroom, I have also played it safe at the same time. I have taught in the same school for 15 years. I have taught the same subject and grade for 15 years. I have always justified this stagnation because I love what I do. But lately, it hasn’t been quite enough. I’m still challenged every day, but something is missing. My daughter provided me with great inspiration. I too have a potential opportunity to do something different within the confines of what I love to do, help kids learn. This opportunity would require me to step far outside of my comfort zone. It will be hard. I will have to leave the community that I has supported my growth and the development of my craft over the last 15 years. But change is good, risk is good, being a little bit uncomfortable is good for the mind, body and spirit.

Thank you Sage, for reminding me that the human spirit thrives under conditions of change.

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