Ironically, taking big risks is the only safe place to be now (So says Seth Godin, and I agree!).
There has never been a worse time to play it safe. Amidst all of the epic changes taking place in the world, following the path of keeping your head down and doing what your told is ending badly for people. Countless students are leaving school deeply indebted – all told to play it safe, get the degree, get the good job, and so on…
That path is finished. The time has come to anticipate. Innovate. Create and be totally flexible. Darwin said, “It is the not the strongest who survive, not the most intelligent, but the ones most adaptable to change.”
We are in a Darwinian moment. University students know this. Especially university education grads. Extremely challenging conditions exist to secure full time employment in teaching right now. So what are you going to do? Are you going to listen to the fear and the resistance? Listen to the tired refrain from yesteryear? Or, are you going to change? Take big risks? Not follow the status quo and not give in – no matter what?
A quick illustration:
One student graduates from an education program – a freshly minted teacher. One among hundreds upon hundreds of freshly minted teachers that are being spewed out year after year (it is a good racket for the universities). The odds are stiff. One in a stack of resumes. Hundreds upon hundreds applying for a paltry number of positions that are on call with no guarantees. He probably did pretty good in school. Figured out the game and played it well. A good teacher, but having to tow the line and defend the status quo because he is already on thin financial ice with 40gs of student loans that piled up. Seduced by the allure of a steady pay cheque and a rock solid pension that may take over a decade to materialize as he sits on the bottom of a seniority list. As the pickings are slim, he does what he has to and tends bar on the side. Every morning he gets up early and waits for the call. Maybe it will be a good week and he will get called in to sub 3 or 4 times. But it is never a certainty. Waiting and waiting. Waiting to be chosen…
The other student causes a massive ruckus inside university and then directly into the schools of his district. He sees change a comin’. He puts it all on the line. He takes big risks in the classroom and out. He embraces the new school and becomes an expert in interpreting the world and parlaying it to his students. He does not take no for an answer. He innovates and pushes boundaries everywhere. He refuses to wait around and be told what to do. He chooses himself. He demands change and directly asks for it at school board meetings. He incites an education revolution and leads a charge among students. Parents are on board. The status quo reels and opposes him. So, he strikes out on his own path, blazing trails. He creates opportunities and provides more value to more people than anyone else while not compromising on his vision to change education. He runs two side businesses and is constantly learning through the best of the best of his social media networks. He believes resumes died years ago and is always producing exceptional digital content that grows his own audience. He continuously takes huge, creative, emotional and professional risks.
Who will get the teaching opportunities of the future?