The Process

I watched this Adam Grant TEDTalk again this week and saw a version of the image below. (I like the wording in the image below a little better than the image Adam shared.)

Adam Grant states in the video that “self-doubt is paralyzing, it causes you to freeze.” He goes on to tell us, “The key to being original is just a simple thing of avoiding the leap from step three to step four. Instead of saying ‘I’m crap,’ you say, ‘the first few drafts are always crap, and I’m just not there yet.”

This school year has pushed us out of the default of what school has traditionally been for our students and forced us to change. The challenge that I have faced, and I am sure you have too, is that during some of the difficult transitions, I have not skipped step four in the creative process. I have been paralyzed at times by self-doubt.

As we continue to delve into a new reality of education, the key to our success is to continue to try new things until we find what works best for our students. I encourage all of us to follow the creative process but don’t forget to skip step four. Look for ideas that cause you to think, “Wow, this is great!” (I love those moments of possibility.) Inevitably, in the efforts to put those ideas into action, I am sure at some point you will say to yourself, “OK, not so easy,” followed by the realization that, “This is crap…” But don’t then jump to step four. Iterate, innovate, and keep trying until you get yourself to the moment where you say, “Wait, this can work.” Keep going; keep trying. As Adam Grant said, “The first few drafts are always crap, and I’m just not there yet.” The most important part of that last sentence is “YET.”

The word YET means we are on our way, but we must keep the mindset that we can get there if we keep trying, keep a positive attitude, and keep innovating inside our new concept of school in 2022. To get there, we have to keep moving forward, realizing that while what we did may have been crap, there is potential to reach our students and find success regardless of the environment.

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