Maybe it’s the cold, or this time of year, as they days grow darker and the workload grows heavier. Maybe it’s the number of plates I have spinning right now, no more than ever, but no fewer than ever, either. Or maybe it’s the last couple of weeks, some unexpected home repair, appliance trouble, and extended family illness.
Whatever it is, I’m certainly feeing something a little bit not quite right. A little bit funky. I’m off my game.
As the 1:1 I’m working on implementing turns from novel to habit for several schools and staff in my school district, I think many of them, and certainly I am, beginning to feel less ecstatic and more resigned to the grind of the day to day.
And certainly some folks have begun to wonder about the bad and possibly risky pieces of our plan to allow for more access to technology and the Internet to students as everyday habits in teaching and learning. I do hear some people who are certain that things and networks will be used for evil rather than good. “Let’s lock stuff down,” they say, “because students with too much ability and opportunity are bound to go astray.”
And I hear them. And I don’t want to promote the worst of what could happen.
Surely, when I’m off my game like this, when I’m second and triple guessing pretty much everything that I and others are up to, I could find it easy to be lured into believing that the worst of us is all there is, that we should be locking things up and shutting folks down. That it’d be best for everybody to find a lockstep path of compliance for everyone and always.
Moments like these, I could sure use a pep talk from someone. Might as well be me.
So what of all the talk of what might happen, of mistakes that could be made, of errors and missteps and failures imagined? It might be, just might be, that when we give folks opportunity to do well, to dream big, to step forward and offer something big, bigger than we knew we could, to dream hard for something better and more beautiful than we knew we could be, well, maybe we can.
We’re all struggling the best we can to do right by children, and the conflict sometimes is not because we don’t all want to succeed, but it’s because we’re afraid we might. And when we stumble, it’s not because we don’t mean well, but because we get stuck on the way to greatness. Distracted, even. Maybe it’s the cold, or this time of year.
But we can do hard things. Of course we can do hard things. Look at how far we’ve come.
That’s what I’ll bet on. On hope. The hope that we can be better. Let’s do good. Let’s bet on someone being great.
And let’s let that someone be us.