1. Teacher Life

Switching it Up to Move Forward

Success can lead to failure.

The Blockbuster video example has been used over and over again because it is a great cautionary tale of how success can lead to comfort, and comfort can eventually lead to failure.

I was asked recently to share what makes a successful school, and my answer was the same as it has been before.  Successful schools appreciate and celebrate their success, but they never stay stagnant because of it.  If learning is the goal of education, this has to be modeled at both an individual and organizational level.  

The reason I am writing this is as a reminder for myself as I struggle to try some new things. I have started to focus on a podcast and try a new email format.  I have focused on building more of a community using Instagram so I could play around and try some different forms of media.  I have been blogging for ten years as of April, and although I have enjoyed it and it has helped me reflect on my practice, I felt like I was on auto-pilot.  That I would merely write to get a blog post done, not write because I had something to say.

Now, I am getting the same queazy feeling from publishing a podcast that I did when I first posted a blog.  I am struggling to make some videos and trying to figure out how they could be useful in the classroom. 

What’s happening is that I am struggling, but as I discussed in “The Innovator’s Mindset,” developing resiliency is crucial to growth:

Resilience is a necessary trait for innovators, but it’s also a skill that all humans need to develop. Life is full of ups and downs. How you recover from failure and move forward is important to how you learn and how you live. As you push the edges of the norm with your innovative ideas, hold onto your conviction and passion. If you don’t believe in your idea, why would anyone else?

Although there is a benefit in doing something over a long period of time, if you do not switch up, you can become stagnant. According to this article, In muscle growth, doing the same exercise over and over leads to your body adapting, which can stop any growth:

The human body is a master at adaptation. “Whatever the body is asked to repeat, it will become very efficient at it,” Stull explains. “After a few months, you may continue to feel the psychological benefits, but not necessarily the physiological benefits.”

I believe that this idea of stagnation can be true also with the mind, body, and heart.  Finding places to have purposeful struggle will always lead to growth, whether you feel it at the moment or not.

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