Pushing people past their limits…
It is what I try to do.
Not too far.
Too far, and then there is push back.
Just enough to send people outside of their comfort zones. The classic Vygotsky, “Zone of Proximal Development”.
It is so hard to do sometimes. It is amazing how stubborn people can be.
Let’s take an example today.
Grade 9 kid. Trying to push him into physically being more active — he is more than capable. He complains; I am meeting requirements.
Meeting requirements. Is that what you are here for? Not in my house. Are you going to come work for my company by meeting requirements? Nope.
Exceeding expectations. That is what I am looking for. You want to coast along and meet expectations, that is your gig. On my team, you strive to exceed what you are capable of.
This is the message that I try to instill in our young high school students. They resist. It frustrates the hell out of me.
Today, I set up a green screen. For a week, I tried to get kids to put together 2 min speeches of what they have been working on. We can put anything in the back ground. It looks amazing in your portfolio and is what learning activities should look like in 2016. Let’s just say, it was disappointing.
Because humans like being safe. It is evolutionary. Stay with what you know and no one gets hurt. That is also the sure fire way not to learn and grow.
Some people find me hard. Fine. So be it. I am severely guilty of trying to push human beings to their highest levels. Some are not ready for that. That is OK. I get the ones who are. However, I believe everyone can be pushed a little. It is an art form. Some people need a little, some people need a lot.
As stated, I like to push a lot. I think human beings are much more capable than their self-talk purports. I will admit, sometimes I go too far. I always recognize when I do though, and pull back. Give the person time and space. Push softer next time.
To me, education is pointless unless limits are being tested. Going beyond what is currently known, stretching into what is unknown, so growth can happen.