The Danger Of Getting Comfy in Our EDU Skins: Flexing Our EDU Muscles

Fly, On Your Way, Like An Eagle

My blog is called Rockin’ The Boat for a reason. The status quo always brings out my oppositional defiant muscle, which I flex often. As I became a connected educator these past two years, I began to see and learn things that would benefit my students. My oppositional defiant muscle (ODM) began to twitch. The most challenging was changing my high school classroom into flexible seating. The biggest hurdle I’ve faced is my own mindset, and that’s a work in progress. Has everyone accepted the changes I’m making for students? No. The problem may be that we as educators tend to get comfortable in our educational skin. We often let our ODM atrophy when it comes to the EDU status quo so everything that takes us out of our routine is viewed as a threat. That, my friends, is a danger to our growth, creativity, and innovation. It’s summer, or nearly for most of us, so that means it’s time to get into shape. EDU shape. ODM shape.

Fly As High As The Sun

Teachers talk about my room seating arrangements, sometimes in front of my students, and I don’t mind. After all, I was in their shoes until recently. It’s a lot to take in at first. There’s a futon, camping chairs, a wooden spool, a large metal teacher desk (with pillows) that students sit ON (not at), small blue tables, an octagon coffee table with carpet pieces that students use for floor seating, and a pub table. My students are happy. They are comfortable. Other students walk by my room and exclaim how excited they are to take one of my classes next year. Building a positive culture? Yes, yes I am.

On Your Way, Like An Eagle

Student minds aren’t as fixed as our adult minds. Some were skeptical at first, but it only took a day or two for them to see that being comfortable does not mean learning won’t happen. Students look around and see new learning spaces. Adults look around and see chaos, disorganized spaces, lack of control, a hippie idea. No worries. I’ve got this.

So as we roll into summer, how will you stretch, flex, and strengthen your mindset? How will you grow and get into ODM shape? Are you satisfied with where you are professionally? Keep in mind that muscles that aren’t used, atrophy. When we fail to seek out opportunities to connect, learn, and grow, it becomes very hard to do. Our mindsets atrophy. Our will to break out of the EDU status quo  mode weakens.

Fly And Touch The Sun

Some may be wondering at my use of the song Flight of Icarus by Iron Maiden for my subheading titles. Maybe it seems too depressing. Sure, Icarus dies, but Daedalus had to try something to break out constraints placed on him by King Minos. Read the myth. You would have tried something too, and that’s what we as educators need to always be ready to do. Willing to do. Try. Will we have failures? Sure. But we’re failing forward. Every experience can teach us, grow us: ballgames, vacations, adventures, family time, concerts, and whatever it is that you do to recharge. So let’s shake off the guilt. Go do stuff, then self check periodically. Do we see new ideas, tools, methods as threats? Are we too comfy in our current EDU skins? Let’s get in EDU shape this summer. Let’s push ourselves past the comfort zones we’ve set in place, either personally or professionally. Let’s connectlearn, grow, and do. Then, just maybe, if our status quo ODMs are strong enough, we’ll fly.

Partial lyrics from Iron Maiden’s Flight of Icarus were used as subheading titles.

4 thoughts on “The Danger Of Getting Comfy in Our EDU Skins: Flexing Our EDU Muscles

  1. Here’s the thing… will your “unconventional classroom setup” be pointed out as either a gimmick, or maybe as the reason for your student’s test scores being high. My guess is that their success is tied to your ability as a great teacher, not how the chairs are arranged. Will that now be ignored and then others try this new “Hippie Teaching Style” only to flop because it didn’t work, when the real reason was that they weren’t really very good at building their EDU muscle?

    You keep showing them though… ya’ dern hippie!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes. There’s no research to back up flexible seating or desk in rows seating as having any affect whatsoever on test scores. So, if it isn’t a factor, why not be comfortable? By making this shift, I had to give up control over seating, which makes ME uncomfortable while my mindset flexes, stretches, and grows. Now I will look for other areas where growth can occur.

      Like

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