“That’s the way it has always been done.” “We’ve always done it this way.” These are the most dangerous phrases we could use in the workplace and school system. You may have heard the story of five monkeys before today. If not, here it is for you to read and share with others.
So why do we have a tenancy to follow the crowd and not raise questions along the way? Our school’s belief system determines “the way things are done.” Think about this in a school situation. You are informed from your supervisor of a new rule, regulation or a new procedure. You know the reasons “why” behind it. You get it. However, over time, we forget the “why” and how it all came about. No one remembers why they are following it or doing it that way. But we still follow the rule. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not talking about breaking any rules. I wouldn’t lead you in that direction. The point being is try something new. Think about the ways things are done and see if there is a better way. Be innovative. For my fellow principals- don’t throw cold water on teachers if they have an idea. Let’s be willing to give it a try.
New ideas shouldn’t be stifled. If we stifle innovative ideas, teachers will stop “reaching for the banana.” Let’s don’t miss the opportunity to ask ourselves is there a different way to do things. There will be newcomers on your campus this year. We need to mentor and provide support to these newbies so we don’t discourage them from reaching success. Every teacher, principal, student etc… should actively seek ideas from each other.
Be the cheerleader on campus encouraging those who want to climb the ladder (stairs). Let’s take a step in the right direction this year and take a close look at our ways. Are we doing what’s right for our students? Are we moving in the right direction and aligned to our goals? If we aren’t aligned with our overall goals, it’s time to make a change. Change is good. It’s not easy, but it’s good. If you are doing “things” this year solely because that’s the way its always been done, then that’s a sure fire way to bring your success to a standstill.