What is my life...? + some great info from LINCHPIN

Today, for roughly 9 hours my job in education focused on receipting money.  Our theatre group was awarded one of the highest honors in the state and allowed to be passed onto SETC, which will take place in Lexington, KY, in early March 2017.  Although it was and is a huge honor, for some reason I feel like I'm being punished.  We juggled over 10 fundraisers and with the help of 5 boosters we receipted all the money over a course of 3+ hours and then I spent the rest of my school day and until about 7 PM tonight inputting all of the receipts into one giant spreadsheet to reflect students' current balances.  The 10 fundraisers have been a constant obstacle to my teaching over the past few weeks because I've been inundated with questions from about 80 students and had class interrupted daily to help students with questions.  One day, we will hopefully pass all of this to a booster club, but we're not there just yet.

When my role in education is receipting money, I ask myself....What is my life?

But I know, and my wife reminds me, that all of this work will create incredible life experiences for over 70 young people and I have to keep that in my mind...even when the frustration seems overwhelming.

Do I want to do that aspect of my job...is it part of my job description...no...but the point address this point exactly in the NOT MY JOB section.  I'm not going to say it is NOT MY JOB, I'm just going to do it, because I'm trying to bring this experience to a bunch of kids we love.

And that's what it's all about...it's not all about me...

After I got done with that, I knew that my deadline for the first step in the LINCHPIN project was due on 1/20, so I'm finishing it up now, at 9 PM on a Friday night...because I know that is what I need to get done.

I highlighted many lines in the first 89 pages of the book.  Below, I'd like to re-state some of those quotes and then comment on them.  I've read this book in the past, but re-reading it for the FORWARD team is helping me process is on a deeper level.

Quotes are in BOLD.
My comments are NOT in bold.

p. 2  What if you could learn a different way of seeing, a different way of giving, a different way of making a living?  And what if you could do that without leaving your job?
--I'm listening...

p. 5  Unlock the genius you've been hiding all these years.
--I'm trying man...I'm really trying...sometimes he doesn't want to come out...

p. 5  You have been brainwashed into believing that your job is to do your job & follow instructions.
--I know this...I'm screaming it.  However I don't try to give clear instructions...so does that mean I'm doing it correctly?

p. 8  The compliant masses don't help so much when you don't know what to do next.
--That's why I purposely limit the details on assignments and projects.  I give them an 'end goal' or something to make the director happy, I'm more interested in how they get there.  I want to learn from them.   Maybe they have a new, better way to get to the goal.

p. 10  People want to be told what to do because they are afraid (petrified) of figuring it out for themselves.
--So that's another even better reason to FORCE them to figure it out.  Help them along the way, but don't do it for them.

p. 11  If you make your business possible to replicate, you're not going to be the one to replicate it.  Others will.
--The same goes for the classroom, if you're doing exactly what someone else is doing...you will lose and your career will be miserable.  Always try new things and it will inform you AND your students.

p. 13  Consumers are not loyal to cheap commodities.  They crave the unique, the remarkable, and the human.
--What we produce in the classroom should be unique and remarkable.

p. 17  First you have interchangeable parts, then you have interchangeable workers.
--If we are creating the cogs of the future...should we really be in the classroom?  We should be creating linchpins.

p. 19  Leaders don't get a map or a set of rules.
-- That's why they're leaders.  They FIGURE IT OUT on their own.  Give your students projects and get out of their way.  Provide them with what they need to succeed and watch how they process the project.

p. 24  Today, the means of production = a laptop computer with Internet connectivity.
--If a student can produce, from their phone, allow them to do that every once in awhile, or everyday if it works for your content area.  You might be amazed.

p. 29  Given the choice, most of us, most of the time, seek out art.  We seek out experiences and products that deliver more value, more connection and more experience, and change us for the better.
--Recently I went square dancing.  We were the youngest on the dance floor.  We danced rather poorly at times, but overall some thought we were veterans.  We laughed harder than we had in a long while.  We sought out the art.

p. 30  If you want a job where you get to do more than follow instructions, don't be surprised if you get asked to do things they never taught you in school.
--I can understand that.  They never taught me how to make someone disappear while floating in the air at school (in some thick fog), or how to make a pool in an orchestra pit, or how to make a 17' pulsating light filled tree that needed to hold actors.

p. 30  If you believe that great talent leads to more innovation and more productivity, which then lead to more demand, generosity is the very best strategy.
--Embrace talent around you, do NOT be threatened by it, but embrace it and you will see it re-create more and more all around you.  If you are threatened by others TALENT, that jealousy & inability to recognize greatness around you will eventually destroy you.

p. 34  If you're a linchpin, doing a job that's not getting done is essential.
--Whatever needs to get done, just do it (sorry Nike, I know it's trademarked).

p. 35-36  When your organization becomes more human, more remarkable, faster on its feet, & more likely to connect directly with customers, it becomes indispensable.
--What can you do to make your group, organization or club indispensable?  Whatever it is, why aren't you doing it now?

p. 38  What the boss really wants is an artist, someone who changes everything, someone who makes dreams come true.
--Bosses, or principals/ADMIN in our case, do want someone to shake the place up...but in a good way.

p. 42  Dream school sign:  We teach people to take initiative and become remarkable artists, to question the status quo, and to interact with transparency.  And our graduates understand that consumption is not the answer to social problems.
--Reading this book really made me realize how much consumerism is driven by school and workplace environments.  I like the idea that students SHOULD question the status quo, and react to the status quo through ART.

p. 47  What They Should Teach In School:  1.  Solve interesting problems  2.  Lead
--We work on both of these items in my classes.  Although it is a simple directive, I appreciate the idea behind it.

p. 48  Leading is a skill and schools can teach leadership as easily as they figured out how to teach compliance.
--The old system is dead.  Schools should be leading the way in creating leadership for the industries of tomorrow.

p. 48  We need to reorganize our schools to free the great teachers from tests and reports and busywork.
--Please, for the love of all, get us away from standardized testing, why must everything be about that, why must I be burdened with busywork, when we're trying to create artists?  Get out of our way and let us do our thing.

p. 55  If all you have to offer is that you know a lot of reference book information, you lose, because the Internet knows more than you do.
--I'm fully aware of this.

p. 56  Rick Wagoner lost his job at GM because he told everyone what to do (and he was wrong).  Far better to build a team that figures out what to do instead.
--We'll figure it out together.

p. 57  Your job is also a platform for generosity, for expression, for art.
--Make sure that you are building relationships at every opportunity.

OK...I have to stop, my wife is getting mad and it's late.



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