19 July 2019
Maybe you garden, and you define growth in terms of the flowers that bloom or the vegetables that fill your kitchen table. Sometimes it feels like those string beans will never grow, or the hydrangea will never blossom. “Did I use the right fertilizer? Did I forget to water?” And then one day, as if by magic, your garden is in full bloom, and that salad never tasted better.
Maybe you teach, and you define growth by how well your students can apply their knowledge from one context to the next. There might be some days when you think they have no idea what’s going on. “Did I forget to tell them something? Did I not give them the resources?” And then from the far corner of the room, you hear the most insightful response that changes your perspective, and you smile.
Regardless of what you do, growth happens, so embrace it. (I feel like that should be our catchphrase.) Meet it head-on instead of shying away from it and saying, “I’ll do it next time.”
No. Do it now! Staying in your comfort zone is easy. It’s what you know, and it’ll be there when you’re ready for a break.
But for now, step out of your comfort zone, and join us in the stretch zone. You know, that fuzzy area between what’s comfortable and what scares the crap out of you. That’s where growth happens. Because, as one of our Harvard Graduate School of Education leaders recently said, “Great things never came from comfort zones.”
So try that thing you’ve been putting off: implement that cooperative learning strategy that frightens you, plant that fickle flower that you’ve coveted for years, surf that gnarly set, bro, or climb the crux you've been avoiding.
Whatever you do, we encourage you to get uncomfortable because great things will happen.