systems like pre-med/pre-law/business school, and then graduate school, and then a job that very much mirrors that K-12 system
School is Keeping You From Thinking Big
Zak Slayback

I agree with this author’s point entirely and I have an example to add to it. Not only is the permission-based system onerous for individuals that want to live according to what they know is the best way to move themselves forward, the permission-based system also limits people who want to move entire industries and society forward. Let me give you my example.

I was a teacher for over 15 years before becoming a lawyer working primarily with school districts. Then I became a school administrator. The school district where I was an administrator was wealthy. It was a public school that viewed itself as progressive and forward thinking. As part of the leadership team, my boss encouraged me to do something nontraditional in the public sector and get an MBA. While in MBA might sound traditional to those in the private sector an MBA is extraordinarily unusual in the public sector, and especially in this school system. Even considering running a public agency under the heuristics and economics considered priorities in a private company is far outside what the education establishment permits. Perhaps even you are questioning whether an MBA could be useful for a leader running a school.

The permission that society grants to educators is a clear track: go through educator training, teach, and then enter into a school of education for a degree that’s really a licensure program, since educational administration positions are usually governed by credentials issued by the state. When I made the decision to get an MBA, I not only was following my interests about what I thought would be best to help me as a leader seeking to improve education, I was bucking the permissions laid out by the public education sector. The story ended eight years later. Forces gathered suggesting I wasn’t playing by the rules.

My point overall is that the permission-based system in which we are raised not only never goes away in terms of limiting our potential for creative, innovative and progressive thought, The permission-based education system also polices us in our jobs and social functions. Kudos more than ever to those who are willing to take their own paths.

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