Margo's World with Leadership In Educational Technology

An adventure of leading and learning technology simultaneously

on September 21, 2013

Blog #3


How do we maintain excellence as we innovate?

Maintaining excellence is a bit like riding a roller coaster.

The creation and planning of ideas to use in your classroom is like standing in line waiting to get on the ride. You begin by standing in a long line waiting. You talk to your friends and plan on where to sit, if you will raise your arms high or keep them firmly on the bar, what it will feel like, and share the excited and nervous feelings you have about the ride.  Sharing with friends makes the whole experience all the better. When planning your ideas, talking, and collaborating with your peers makes maintaining excellence that much easier. I like the term Mastermind Group from the Dave Burgess Pirates book. Working with a group brings more ideas and solutions to any creative idea. It also helps to keep you accountable to your creative plan. How many times have you been in line and wanted to chicken out only to stay because your friend coaxed you to stay?

Dave Burgess also advises to stay away from negative people and naysayers. Riding roller coasters is not for the faint of heart. You have to find people willing to let themselves be jostled around and like their senses shook up a bit. You need people who will pump you up and help you feel confidant about trying new ideas.  People willing to jump in and say, “Let’s do it and compare notes.”

Getting on the roller coaster and waiting for the safety check is like standing in front of the classroom ready to begin your creative new lesson. Will the ride be as exciting as you anticipated. Will the lesson be receptive to the students. Can you handle the ride or will you be sick afterward. Can you really pull this crazy idea off? Did you take on too much when you decided to ride the double loop, twist, straight up then down roller coaster. Too late to back out now you’re strapped in and the countdown has begun 3,2,1- varoom. 

Your lesson takes off  twist and turns. You can make minor adjustments as the ride runs, as you present your lesson.  You’re moving fast, no time to think, as you make minor adjustments along the way, and then you’re done. Kids gone and you pause and immediately say that was fantastic or not doing that one again. Walk down the ramp talking to your friends and share what you liked about the ride and what you didn’t. How you might do it the next time. Sit in the front, back, or middle. Hands up or down. Then off to the next one.  Where is starts all over again.

And that’s how you maintain excellence while you innovate!!   



Ideas for energizing your excellence!!

Develop a Personal Learning Network (PLN) on Twitter –

Is a great place to start to surround yourself with other educators seeking excellence and want to share ideas.

Confident Teacher-


2 responses to “

  1. I like how you related maintaining excellence to riding on a roller coaster. I hadn’t thought of it in that way before, but the ups and downs and going back again are so true! It’s funny how each new group of kids leads us on a new ride, too. There are always constants that we are responsible for when teaching (like the curriculum), but every new group pushes us to innovate and customize learning.

  2. hmdavis2013 says:

    What a wonderful analogy. You did a wonderful job of comparing it to a roller coaster. It is so true that it is not as fun to do alone. Much better to bring friends and co-workers along for the ride with us. Otherwise, we might talk ourselves out of going on that ride – trying something new. The point you and Burgess make about staying away from negativity can also go along with the roller coaster theme. If we look at that straight up and down then double twist and loop, and think “I think I can do that” Others can talk us out of it by convincing us that it is too much for us or that it’s safer to just stay on the old white regular roller coaster. Others around us can convince us to keep doing things they way they have been done for years, – teach by the book – from the book. That’s no fun.

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