Friday, April 29, 2022

Embrace the dumpster fire...

It hasn't always been this way, like most I began my career with trepidation and caution, learning the ropes and gathering experience. Not taking risks, scripting out my day...

Over the last 10 years, at this point the second decade of my career, a lot has changed. I have taken more risks, tried new things, stepped out of my own comfort zone. I have become more comfortable with uncertainty, more accepting of epic failure as a learning win. And I have tried to instill this in my students and colleagues alike.

In the 8 years since I have been at Heathcote School, I have tried to make "embrace the dumpster fire" a school-wide mantra. That we push limits, try new things, and are comfortable with failing.

Sometimes you need to crash int the brick wall at 1,000 miles an hour to best learn, and understand, how to avoid it next time. Learning is messy and rarely in a straight, clean line. The dumpster fire is the epic fail, the epic fail to figure out how to fail less epically next time, to eventually get that win (epic or otherwise). The dumpster fire is knowing it's ok to not be good, or right, or comfortable the first or second or even third time. The dumpster fire is the start of the process.

Failing is key to learning. 

Learning isn't easy, nor clean, nor instant... sometimes the best way to learn how to do something right is to do it completely wrong the first time. Be bold, take risks, learn from failure.

Embrace the dumpster fire...

I created the below poster to represent the "embrace the dumpster fire" spirit, to use in presentations, at meetings, and so forth... 

I also created an alternate version to print as a poster to hang in my lab...

I began this mindset during my last few years teaching in the New York City Department of Education, taking risks and trying new things, being ok with failure as long as I took something from it. It has fully coalesced during my time at Heathcote School. These last 8 years my colleagues have bought into my crazy and are willing to come along for the ride. The students have also embraced it, they have found it liberating to know their teachers are ok with the epic fail, support the epic fail, as long as it is in pursuit of the goal and we learn and improve from it.

Feel free to print for your lab or classroom, all I ask is you keep the "created by" credit at the bottom and cite me as the source/originator when asked.

Go forth and embrace the dumpster fire!


Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Could vs Should

 Could vs Should. Want vs Need

This poster hangs in my lab as a reminder to always create with purpose and to make every choice a choice that adds value to your work, not distract from it.