I reckon there are two limiting factors that stop us from thinking and dreaming big in our schools and lives.
The first one is circumstance. The pandemic is a good example, as are staff shortages, scant resources, staff turnover, educator capacity and critical incidents.
These circumstances tend to draw us into survival modes where the immediacy of problem-solving, rather than the possibilities of the future, are reflected in our daily work.
The second factor is history. Depending on where we’re from or where we’ve been, we tell ourselves stories that place a ceiling on what’s possible. You can hear it in off-the-cuff statements like “That’s all well and good, but not with these kids” or “Maybe when things settle down a bit” or “I’d be happy enough just to get through the week in this joint”.
I grew up in Frankston, which is a suburb south of Melbourne burdened with an almost comical reputation for being “bogan central”. People from Frankston aren’t supposed to dream big, aim too high, realise potential or step too far above their station in life. But they should.
I know it’s flirting with the tall poppy syndrome, but we at Real Schools want to transform education in this country. We really do. I really think we can too. Actually, we’re going to. Every school that partners with us accepts an invitation to help us realise that dream.
I’ve got plenty of problems to solve this week (circumstance) and a bit Frankston mentality still to wrangle (history) too.
But I’m not going to allow either to be the limit of our potential.
What would you aim for if your school got out of problem-solving mode, shed some limiting historical beliefs and set your sights on something more profound than mere survival.
Keep fighting that good fight.
PS. If some point-of-need support might help with moving toward a preferred future, maybe your staff would appreciate our Real Schools Apps. The Kokoda Schools Project App allows your school to instil the traits of our diggers in your students’ learning programs and the Real Schools App provides written, video and podcast resources in all things student behaviour, restorative practices and school culture.
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