Do you ever feel like a Ferrari in third gear? Cruising along the boulevard, feeling pretty good - but knowing that you have three more gears in the transmission and you really want to see where they take you. You have enough road in front of you, plenty of gas in the tank and it's time to shift.......
But you can't. Maybe you're worried you'll drive too fast and get pulled over. There's a stoplight up ahead and it's about to turn red. Or maybe you work in education?
In the education world, the Ferrari in third gear feeling happens on too many occasions. I talk with way to many school leaders who feel the same and are in the same position.
Ready to shift - ready to open it up - ready to blow the doors off - ready to see what they can do - see how fast they can drive - see how far they can go. But they can't.
They have someone telling them no. It's too fast, you need to slow down. You need to have PATIENCE. You need to wait. Focus on the nuts and bolts. No new ideas please. How will that raise test scores?
How many 4th graders do you know that talk about their test scores on the weekend? How many kids tell their grandparents what their standardized test scores are? I. Don't. Know Any.
What they do tell them about are the awesome Genius Hour projects they're working on in class. How they just started using Minecraft Edu in the computer lab to build their California Missions and they LOVE it! How they're coding in school and the Hour of Code is finished, but they're still coding in school! How they have Sphero robots in class and their teacher has them program figure eights as a way to teach math and problem solving!
How can we in good conscience slow down when we're talking about kids? When we're trying to move the educational program forward for kids! Open up doors and opportunities for kids! Expose kids to new programs and ideas that will make them even more excited to be at school.
Wanting to shift into a higher gear for kids is an educational right they deserve!
I'm patient for the tulips in my garden to bloom - my crock pot takes all day to cook - long term financial investments take patience - watching the lakes in California fill back up after our drought takes patience - but having patience to support kids in school with new and innovative ideas should not take patience.
It should be a priority that we make for our kids. It should take precedence over everything else we do. It should be number one on our list. It should be the mission and vision of every school and district in our country. It should be what we strive for as educators. We're in the business of opening doors for kids, showing them what's possible, how far they can go - you can't do that if you're stuck in third gear.
It's like that scene from Ferris Bueller's Day Off - there's this beautiful sports car and it never gets driven. A car is meant to be driven, especially a convertible. See what it can do, open it up and get after it!
Go get after it for kids, they deserve it, need it and want it!