Most educators, maybe most of the general public, live their lives in the belief that scarcity is the way of things. There is only so much to go around, so be sure that you fight for your piece of the pie, even if is at the expense of another.
Our attitudes toward scarcity are reflected in our television shows: American Idol, Survivor, The Apprentice, and the Great Race. It’s a seemingly endless list of programs reinforcing the view that the world is a place of one winner and plenty of losers. It’s a world of scarcity.
Most educators have completely bought into the worldview of scarcity. We do not believe in abundance. We can point to years of “doing without” to prove it. I remember a boss who decided that he couldn’t have everyone he managed be a 4. ( Four was the highest performance rating he could give). In his world, even if you were dealing with the crème de la crème, you had to separate the crème into the “best of the crème” and the “least of the crème”.
When I develop my budgets, I always budget for every employee to receive a 4, and hope they earn it. Whether they do, or not; isn’t based on a formula, a curve, or a belief in scarcity.
The “realists” among us may say, “We have a set district budget. We have a set technology budget. We barely pass the budgets we have. We are all competing for a piece of a limited pie. How can you be talking about a mindset of abundance?”
What if we made it our business to create a world of educational abundance? Education is consistently listed as a top priority for our nation, yet our public schools are not valued highly. What if the public’s belief in the importance of education, aligned with its view of the value it is receiving from public schools?
How can we learn to express the value of education in ways that appeal to the heart, the head, and the pocketbook? What if we could rekindle the American spirit of service, volunteerism, and community? What would it take to have the nation rally behind its educators and children!
As leaders we are called on to create visions of the future that may seem impossible to others. Great leaders inspire others to embrace the vision.
Can you envision a world where education is funded abundantly? If not, I invite you to develop a new belief, a belief that change is possible. You don’t have to blindly accept the scarcity of the past, as the only future, the only reality.
I believe we can create a better and more abundant world for our students and for ourselves. Do you?