In his wonderful book, Expect The Unexpected Or You Won’t Find It, Roger von Oech shares a fabulous story that is as insightful as it is adorable. “Folklore has it that explorer Christopher Columbus challenged some Spanish courtiers to stand an egg on end. They tried but were unable to keep it from rolling over. Columbus then hard-boiled the egg and squashed one end of it to create a base. ‘Not fair,’ the courtiers protested. ‘Don’t be silly,’ Columbus replied. ‘You just assumed more than you needed to.’” Assumptions are a curious thing: on the one hand, they allow us to prepare for likelihoods, anticipate risks, practice for probabilities, and ready ourselves for opportunities. But, on the other hand, assumptions can be horribly limiting. So often, what we assume will happen is what we get. If our expectations are so vividly entrenched, all too often it’s difficult to imagine a radically different result, let alone push to make that a reality. It becomes hard to suspend those assumptions long enough to allow for extraordinary possibilities. But for real growth, change, progress, and learning, that is exactly what we have to do, and exactly what we must help our students to do.
Peter Loel Boonshaft, Director of Education