Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Balance Is Overrated

People generally strive for balance in their lives and I know there's wisdom in that. Moderation has its place. Still, we do not live in isolation. In an organization, a bunch of "balanced" individuals might not be what's best for the overall purposes of the group.

It can result in a group that's very out of balance in significant ways.

It might require a very out of balance individual (in some sense) to right the community. 

I'm not talking about that odd uncle who keeps the family gatherings interesting, even though his life is out of control. I'm talking about stepping out for what you believe in because it needs to be noticed.

I've written a lot lately about my colleague and friend Jake Gentry and our recent inquiry-based lesson. He goes out on a limb sometimes to try something new for his class. It takes more work than doing just what he did the year before. When he shares what he's doing with other teachers, he loses some social points with those who like to keep business as usual. Heck, even I tell him to tone it down sometimes.

But it's been exciting working with him. I see how it benefits the students. A couple weeks ago he gave me a high-five after we looked at survey responses. That doesn't happen in most classes!

Reasonable risks and extreme measures on the part of individuals can bring life back to the group.

What radical steps could you take to tip the scales back toward excitement in your school?

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