Friday, March 17, 2017

Just Start Doing #CUE17 #KidsDeserveIt #tlap

There's too much planning going on.

Too many meetings about the plan.

Way too many conversations about what the plan can look like.

Too much looking at other peoples plans.

Who's going to do what and when for the plan.

We don't have enough money for the plan.

Let's start with the plan next year.

Can someone start a Google Doc for the plan.

Let's make sure we 'go slow to go fast' - What does that even mean?

There's too much planning for the meeting you're going to have after this meeting is over - you don't need another meeting.

We need to push on the gas pedal and shift into a higher gear.

You don't need a plan. Throw kids the keys to the car and let them drive.

Just. Start. Doing. 

Do you think Gandhi had a super well thought out plan when he decided to take on the British government? I highly doubt it.

Two guys started Instagram in the Mission District of San Francisco and sold it to Facebook eighteen months later for $1,000,000,000 - do you think they had a detailed plan for their photo app. Probably not.

When I was a Principal it seemed like a great idea to start a coding club on campus, here's what I did within an hour of having my idea.

I created a super simple Google Form (Name, teacher, why do you want to learn how to code)

Any student who submitted a response was invited to my coding club. I turned on the computers in our lab and we worked together as a group to help each other learn how to code. I didn't teach the kids how to code, I facilitated the learning process for them.

I didn't have the idea and then form a committee to talk further about 'next steps.' The club started two days after I had the original idea. Forget the plan, just start doing.

The before school coding club turned into Genius Hour in our upper grade classrooms, that turned into an App Development class co-facilitated by myself and a parent at school, which turned into our entire school going 1:1 with devices - this was five years ago.

When you have a 'just start' doing mentality, awesome ideas grow exponentially and spread like a wildfire on your campus.

We also decided our school needed a 3D printer. The day it arrived I called one of our 5th grade classrooms and asked the teacher to send up two students.

Me - "Ok, this 3D printer just arrived and I want you two to set it up. Here's the box, the company has a YouTube channel, let me know when it's ready to print."

Thirty minutes later my walkie talkie started was done.

Just start doing!

For years I've seen school leaders and district leaders order 'stuff' and have it sit in a closet until the staff was 'comfortable' and you guessed it - a meeting to plan how it would be used. Stop wasting so much time, stop overthinking it all, get over the fact that you don't know everything and that your school doesn't need you too, have the kids start doing.

If you want to start a Makerspace on your campus, grab some kids, cardboard, send an email to your community asking for old legos they don't want anymore - and start your Makerspace. It will take off from there, don't overthink it.

Don't fear the failure and loss - embrace what you'll learn and discover next time you try again - try again, try again, try again!

If kids aren't a part of this process, they need to be - this starts tomorrow!

Stop talking. Stop planning. Start doing. and Don't. Give. Up.

I believe in you. I know you can do it. I know you will be successful. I know you will figure it out. I know you will create amazing experiences for kids!


  1. Adam,
    You have articulated my thoughts EXACTLY!
    Thank you for posting this!
    Lucille Smart (John Baldwin Elem.)

  2. #owlsome. I so agree. Today....I start doing!!!!!!

  3. Great post. We as teachers are so done with starting a committee to form a committee!

  4. Michael, one of my heroes, says, "Read, fire, aim!" I have lived by it and it has helped me do some cool things! Let's go!