Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Out of the Box

It's lonely outside of the box. Inside the box, I would have lots of people, who will want to be my friend. Why? Well, everyone is the same. There is nothing to make someone stand out. No competition. In my 30+ years in the field of education, If you are out of the box, one of two things happens-

1. If you are outside the box and you have team members who understand you, care about you and support you, school and personal life is easier. You have people who are interested and helpful, no matter how crazy the idea. These team members will listen, give advice, and give permission to allow for something new.  FACT: this does not happen often. In 30 years, I have had 2 teams, which were like this.

2. If you are outside the box and team members don't understand and don't care about YOU, school life is lonely and miserable. Nobody calls, nobody cares to check on you, nobody wants to be around you inside and/or outside of school. Outside of the box requires understanding of yourself and how others do NOT define you. Even still, it's lonely. You KNOW you are excluded. You KNOW there is negative chat behind your back. FACT: This happens all the time...even to our students.

When people view outside of the box as a threat, they consider outside of the box as making them look bad. This is not the intent. Outside of the box thinkers/teachers are not trying to out-do someone else. They are looking for a way to make things work better and more efficient..... going past the curriculum document to assure content and authentic learning happens. Students learn and are happy doing so. Outside of the box thinkers/teachers are not looking for attention, stand outs, or awards- Other teammates do not see this. They see Outside of the box thinkers/teachers as competition, a threat, a pain, eccentric, difficult to deal with, unable to comprehend.

When is this learned? How can this happen? We have students who deal with this problem every day. This is not just our Gifted and Talented students who identify with outside of the box. Consider the dyslexic, the ADD/ADHD, the introvert, the poverty stricken who look different due to lack of money. Yes, outside of the box starts in childhood and continues into the workplace.

It hurts.

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