Just the other day, I was talking to one of my principals, and he made a comment about needing to tweet out his own ideas on Twitter. Now, I haven’t been tweeting all that long. Lurking on Twitter, sure, but actual Tweeting, only over the past year. 99.9% of my tweets have been sites, blog posts, and quotes by others. Few by me. And it made me think, do I have any original thoughts to even share?
Don’t get me wrong. There is something to say about ideas from others. There are millions of people out there more than wiling to share their ideas and thoughts. They change the way we think, the way we feel, the way we behave, the way we are. One example of this is an article I came across in a blog post on Schoology. The article, which was mainly about growth mindset, referenced a book called Linchpin. This series of ideas, thoughts, and questions led me to one of the best books I have read in a while.
That very day I checked out the ebook Linchpin and read it in less than 24 hours. It is a fascinating read on our world, business, the past, the future, psychology, philosophy, and you. And what I’ve learned from Seth Godin is that we have the ability to be innovative, to be a linchpin, if we just get rid of that voice in our head that says we can’t. No amount of money or given title will allow you to be great. The linchpins of society create art. True art is a gift. We don’t value it because it costs a lot of money. We don’t value it because someone told us to. We value it because someone uniquely special poured themselves into it and then gave it away just so people can enjoy.
So why does our society still value the all mighty dollar? Prestigious colleges? Factory-like jobs? Following directions? Uniformity? Because all of those things are simple. There is a formula to follow. Anyone can do them. That makes you dispensable. What makes you indispensable? Passion. Vision. Creativity. Discernment. Original thought.
Our classrooms and schools for the most part are set up to follow the societal value of uniformity. There is one right answer, an exact curriculum, one way to solve a problem. It is scary to share, in fear of being different or giving a wrong answer. Students usually want to know what the teacher expects so they can turn that in for an A. What if there was no right answer? No exact curriculum? More than one way to solve a problem? What if we learned how to learn, created our own art, poured ourselves into our passion? Reading those questions makes us uncomfortable. Why? Because there is no uniformity, no formula, no direction. But, just for a moment, allow yourself to think…when we open our students up to be innovative visionaries with their own original thoughts, what type of world will they create?
It’s time to allow yourself to be a linchpin, to be innovative, to have original thought. After all, we have the responsibility to be a model for our students. And so my blog begins. At some point, I will hear that voice in my head that says your idea is dumb, people won’t like it, you haven’t written in a week…what’s wrong with you?? And that’s ok. That fear means I must have something important to say, and it just may end up being different, or innovative, or even original.