Every morning before school, I like to stand outside in front and greet the kids as they walk in the building. Like Billy Corgan sang, I disarm them with a smile. One particular morning, it was cold and windy. I was coming back in my office and shedding my layers of outerwear. A colleague of mine said in passing, “No one’s telling you you have to do that.” She was right. No one is telling me I have to do it.
I understood where she was coming from. I might have shaken off the cold that morning with a little extra drama. She likely thought I was complaining a little about the cold. I wasn’t. Just shaking it off. Sometimes when I am outside before school, students will ask me why I am out there in the cold or wind. I tell them because it is worth it to greet them every morning. That gives them a smile. Even the school’s resource officer said to me this morning, “you are still out here huh?” Absolutely. It’s come to the point when a student doesn’t see me in the morning, they ask where I was if I see them during the school day. They get it. They are seeing that I care.
In education, we need to do more things we aren’t asked to do. We need to experiment with lessons more. We need to try and fail in front of our students. We need to be there for them in good or bad weather. It is easy to get into a mundane routine in this profession. Stay in line. Don’t ruffle the way it has always been. Hit the checkboxes and move to the next class. I myself have been guilty of falling into a routine. Luckily I have the capability and the support around me to identify when this happens. I am able to bounce out of it. Standing out in front of the school reminds me that these are students. These are people. They are not numbers or checkboxes as the system sometimes identifies them as. It reminds me to do things differently and embrace the consequences. Embrace the journey. Embrace teaching AND learning from everyone in the school. Students see that it is okay to try new things and do things beyond what people ask you to do.
I encourage those educators out there in the world to do more things that people don’t ask you to do. I encourage you to Disrupt Education.