"The adventure you're ready for is the one that you get." ~ Jeff Probst
So, I'm a huge Survivor fan. I absolutely love watching every season, every episode. As I was watching recently, I began to realize some of the parallels between the show, Survivor, and what educators are experiencing right now...the elements are rough, the challenges are difficult, and every day brings a new set of circumstances.
As I watch, I can't help but realize that there are two types of people that play the game. Some come into the experience with the intention to thrive and some come simply to survive. Let me explain.
The definition of survive is to manage to keep going in difficult circumstances. But, what if we could do more than just keep going? What if we could go actually grow as a result of these unprecedented circumstances? The definition of thrive is to grow or develop well. However, in order to grow and develop well, we have to be intentional about our perspective.
I never want to suggest that this year will be easy or predictable. In fact, just the opposite is true. The reality is that this year will be difficult and uncertain. Things will happen that are out of our control and there will be challenges that seem almost impossible to overcome. But, if our perspective is to grow through the difficult circumstances and develop as we overcome challenges, everything changes. As Jeff Probst said, "The adventure you're ready for is the one that you get."
Here are three suggestions for moving beyond simply surviving and into thriving throughout the 2020-2021 school year...
1. Know WHY you are doing something and consider alternatives. This year is anything but business as usual. It is different and should be acknowledged as such. You can't fit a square peg into a round hole without a lot of extra work. Rather than creating extra work in order to recreate what we've always done, be willing to find new solutions that make sense.
2. Prioritize GROWTH over goals. As educators, we often set goals for ourselves and our learners. Not reaching those goals can make us feel frustrated and defeated. Growth happens every day. It may be small, but it happens. Be intentional about focusing on your growth and the growth of your learners. Doing so will help you not only survive but thrive in these difficult circumstances.
3. PERSPECTIVE matters. Be willing to reflect and acknowledge both the good and the bad. Consider asking yourself these three questions at the end of every day...
Thank you so much for the work that you have done and will continue to do. I simply can't say that enough. As I sit here this evening and watch yet another episode of Survivor, I can't help but realize that those that make it to the end of the experience find ways to not only survive, but also thrive in spite of their circumstances. I hope that as educators, we are able to do the same.