Working with educators and trying to help challenge the traditional notion of schooling, many of them will come to me privately and say, “I would love to do some of this stuff, but our policies won’t allow us.” When I talk to their principals though and ask them about those same policies, they will tell you that they don’t exist.
Sometimes we create something in our head as a barrier, or we hold onto something from years previously.
At a session with a group of teachers in Winnipeg that I am working with, one of the comments was that they were reluctant to go on Twitter because “the union wouldn’t allow it”. Serendipitously over lunch, the following tweet was sent by the same union:
— Wpg Teachers’ Ass’n (@WinnipegTA) March 23, 2016
The barrier was either in their own mind, or no longer existed.
I know people will always say, “Ask for forgiveness instead of permission”, but I have never been in that mindset. I like not getting into trouble. One thing that I would always say to my teachers as a principal is that “I cannot solve problems that I don’t know exist.”
Don’t hesitate to ask questions in the pursuit of doing what is best for kids. Otherwise, the thing that might be holding you back is your own thinking, and nothing else.