Letting go of the rope…

The other day I read Seth Godin’s blog entry called “In search of a timid trapeze artist.”  I always enjoy his short posts but this one really resonated with me.  He points out “how painful it is to try to maintain the status quo while also participating in a revolution” and that “if you hesitate when leaping from one rope to another, you’re not going to last very long.”

Sometimes, when I’m frustrated, I literally feel that the collision between the school act, board policies, and union contracts, as well as human nature’s aversion to change, have taped our hands (with really good duct tape) inextricably to a rope called the status quo.  At other times, after listening to John Abbott, Sir Ken Robinson, Larry Rosenstock or our teachers, kids and neighbours at the Energetic Learning Campus, I feel that there is hope.

Flexibility is key.  Money would be nice, but without the flexibility to try new and varied ways to schedule, group, assess and teach kids (and each other), I’m afraid we’d just keep buying more of the same thing.

Risk taking is stressful… but without some risk takers at every level, I’m afraid that our hesitation will leave us dangling from a motionless rope while the world of learners completes what Clayton Christensen calls an “institutional bypass” and climbs aboard a rope that is swinging toward the future.  We have so many great teachers doing so many great things for kids… let’s give them the flexibility to reach their full potential.

Please take the time to respond to the BC Education Plan and share your ideas about how to let go of the rope.

About Larry Espe

Superintendent of Schools
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