Julie A. Cunningham

Academic Advisor

Flexibility Ain't Just for Gymnasts

1 Comment

[media-credit name=”stock.xchng” align=”alignleft” width=”224″][/media-credit]Bad grammar aside, today was an exercise in flexibility… and also in failing forward. I know gymnasts actively pursue flexibility. I am finding that I need to do the same.

Today, I dealt with power outages which interrupted a computerized standardized test… which will have to be re-administered at some strange time…. which also caused me to have 29 students who needed a new activity that did not involve the internet or server. I had another perfectly planned activity later in the day, and the website we were visiting went down…. which caused some minor chaos until I decided to walk students through the troubleshooting process… which meant we had to move to plan B…. which quickly became plan C.

And inside, I’m screaming “What happened to Plan A?” I liked Plan A. I invested time and energy in Plan A. Plan B? Bah, that’s for those who can’t properly plan a Plan A. And Plan C? Never heard of it.

One of the sayings that has been buzzing around my district/building lately is “Plan. Do. Adjust.”, which is an iteration of the Plan, Do, Check, Act method. If I look at myself and my reactions critically, I love to live in “Plan” mode.  As a technology teacher, this is important, but it’s even more crucial to be able to change plans on a dime in order to adjust to a new technology problem, or something I learned about on Twitter that is a better fit for the content I’m trying to deliver.  It’s all about being able to do what we need to teach our students to do…… LEARN, UNLEARN, RELEARN.  As Alvin Toffler says,

“The illiterates of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.”

Being flexible in mind requires practice, just as being a flexible gymnast requires practice.  It’s hard to get out of our mental ruts, and to quickly adjust to something new.

How are you stretching yourself in this area?  Are you a perfectionistic planner?  How are you reframing your daily ‘adjusts’ so they help you become a more flexible educator?


One thought on “Flexibility Ain't Just for Gymnasts

  1. Nothing will teach you about flexibility like technology and a room full of students. I wish I could say those instances were few and far between but for me they were a regular occurrence. After 6 years, I can finally say that flexibility is becoming my middle name.