I was once told by a wise person the most dangerous word in the American language is tomorrow. I was stumped by this revelation, until I opened my mind and allowed myself to list all the times I had looked at my family and said, “Maybe later.” How many times had I said to my spouse, “Why don’t we put that off to tomorrow?” Even more revealing, how many times in our career as educators to we utter the words, “Perhaps in the future…”
If we keep putting off things for tomorrow, we may wake up one day and realize we’ve never chased down our full potential, hit a goal, or made the impact we wanted to because we were too busy focusing on putting off the very things that could be the best choices in our lives and careers.
New things are never easy. Sometimes it’s downright scary to put yourself out there and face failure. Our school, is definitely a scary place for those who fear change. We are in a constant state of flux. New ideas, new leadership, new schedules, new behavior plans, new curriculum… the list is endless, but so is the passion of the administrators and educators that have worked tirelessly on these committees; researched, visited, and drafted new things to bring change to our building. Our students deserve our best, and our best is not achieved by staying stagnant.
Are we going to get everything right on the first try? No! There will be blunders and blooper reels galore, but building a learning community that our students feel like a vital part of and are invested in is worth a few scrapes, scratches, and band-aids in my humble opinion. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Fear keeps us stagnant, fear allows us to grow roots, fear keeps us on the launch pad. As educators, we need a common mission. We need to realize that every step we take, every new idea we explore, every time we experience discomfort, we are making strides towards making a great product for our students.
No invention was ever perfect on the first prototype. We don’t prohibit medical advances, because it works now. I mean really, who doesn’t want to be laid up for months for a knee replacement when it can be done and rehabilitated in weeks with the forward thinking and innovation of today?
As educators we need to rethink our educational environments to allow our students to take the reigns of their learning, awaken their passions, and give them opportunities to thrive as they communicate, create, think critically, and collaborate in a learning environment that reflects the forward thinking and innovation we want from our future leaders. If our classrooms still feel and look like those we sat in as students, are we giving our students the opportunities to be prepared for their TOMORROW?