10. Instructions can only take you so far. In fact, while they can be really helpful to get you started, there is no one prescription for everything. You should feel free to use your mind to create your own instructions when it’s necessary.
9. Pull a page from the book of female lead, Wild Style (a.k.a. Lucy), and fight the status quo! Sometimes the “master builders” or great thinkers step back, hide, or are off track for whatever reason. So don’t be afraid to work against the grain. And for goodness sake, beware of the “kragle”! Don’t ever get stuck.
8. One person believing in you can make all the difference. This is why we teach. This is why we do what we do and get out of bed each day. Because making a difference in one child’s life matters.
7. Trust your instincts - unless your instincts are terrible. As educators, each of us has a niche, and each of us has areas where we struggle. Take what you do well and make it amazing, but never be afraid to push outside your comfort zone. When it’s not working, it’s okay to admit it. Not every idea is gold, and that’s okay. On the flip side, though, sometimes people think your idea for a double-decker couch is lame, and it ends up saving your life. So please also refer to number nine.
6. The only thing that anyone needs to be special is to believe that you can be! This is for you AND for your students. Believe in yourself. The world depends on YOU to make a difference.
5. Build things only you can build. We are all unique and bring different perspectives to every problem and situation. Focus on being the best you that you can be, and bring that to the table. Whether you are lesson planning, on a building leadership team, at EdCamp, or working one-on-one with a student, you can change everything.
4. Share what you build! I recently wrote a post called “I’m not THERE yet” and what it really comes down to is that people are inspired by you. Whether you intend to or not, whether you know it or not, people - teachers, kids, parents - are inspired by you, and will take what you made and make something new. And likewise, you will take something somebody else makes and make it your own. Make it better. This is how we learn. This is how we grow.
3. LET. KIDS. CREATE. I don’t think I need to explain this one, but in short - please do not stifle a child’s creativity by trying to fit them in a box that fits what the world expects. See numbers nine and ten. And probably six. Eh, if you aren’t getting it yet maybe you should re-read all the numbers.
2. You are the most talented, most interesting, extraordinary individual, capable of amazing things. So is each student sitting in your class. So is everyone. Embrace what is special about you and share it with the world.
1. Having a plan helps talented individuals work together as a team and save the world. I love celebrating the unique talents of individuals, but when we can harness the power of those individuals to work as a team for the greater good we can accomplish so much more. When we complement and push each other is when real progress is made. Don’t forget, “Everything is awesome! Everything is cool when you’re part of a team!”