“The Hand We Were Dealt” and Why It’s BS…Mostly

Michelle Carlson
Jan 9, 2017 · 3 min read

We’ve all heard that old saying, “Well, this is just the hand I was dealt” right? Heck, some of us have even used those words, myself included. Seeing our current situation or reality in this way keeps us stuck square in the middle of it. In the muck of it. I’m here to offer a way out of that powerless loop.

In looking at teaching, and talking with educators for many, many years, I’ve heard these words a lot — from all different layers of the system. People feel their only option is to do what they’re told, to comply, to not take a stand for what they believe. This mindset is, at least partly, to blame for what keeps us boiling away in this place where the only thing that trumps the “kindness” campaigns we see all over the place is the invisible monster that lurks just behind those kindness posters and rallies: compliance. Looking for the upside? Here it is: the hand that you or I were dealt, if you look at it from the perspective of a hand of cards, has more to it than just your initial hand. That’s where EdCoup comes in. That initial “hand you were dealt” isn’t what you have to live with.

I like poker analogies. Not because I’m particularly good at playing cards, or even that I’ve had a lot of experience with it. I like them because they’re easy to imagine, and they seem to relate to many situations, challenges and tough decisions we’re faced with. And, I’ve played enough family card games to understand some of the basic concepts:

  1. The hand you’re dealt is only the beginning,
  2. You get to throw some of the crappy cards away if you don’t like ‘em,
  3. If you lose the first game, you can choose to learn from it and try again

For a long time now, we’ve thought of education as a system where we all have to stick with a crappy hand and live with it. Why? Because we’ve been presented with no other viable options. EdCoup gives teachers a voice in a safe way. This community is presenting you with options beyond your initial hand of cards. So, it’s time to look at our cards, keep the good ones and throw away the ones that do us no good. I hope this little note starts your week out with a sense of empowerment, inspiration, and a hint of badassery! In the coming weeks, we’re going to announce the steps we’re taking and how you can have a hand (no pun intended) in shaping the future of education. As Kid President says, “This is my time, this is your time, this is OUR time!”

Want to read more about the future of education, compliance and the need to move away from the current reality? Check out what Sir Ken Robinson has to say about it here. It’s an incredible article about a man who, for some reason, our education leaders listen to, but do not hear.

If you enjoyed this (or didn’t), I’d love feedback, comments, and a click of that little heart below!

Michelle Carlson

Written by

Aspiring Jedi Master, leftie, instigator, INFJ-Determined to build a brighter future. Speaker, author, coach. Founder & CEO at Future Development Group, LLC.