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Getting lucky

When you work in a highly variable environment you experience inconsistency of outcome, based on the variables in play that day.

For example, as somebody who works in a school, you do completely bonkers things like plan for consistency of outcome … and then invite several hundred wild, unfinished brains to wander aimlessly into your workplace every day.

This means that there’s a factor in play when you teach … and it’s called luck.  And we don’t acknowledge it enough in schools.

In teaching, you can teach incredibly well, and still experience the outcome of the students having a bad day and totally wrecking your brilliantly planned and executed lesson.

Of course, the flip of this is that you can teach pretty poorly on occasions and get away with it.  The variable of students can manifest, you see, in both disaster and the beautiful, undeserved tolerance of our crumbiest attempts.

It also means that, in any situation, our teaching practice decisions are basically bets.  Sometimes your bets win and sometimes they lose.

You shouldn’t judge your effectiveness based on the outcome of your bets.  There’s, after all, no such thing as a sure bet.

But you can ask yourself if you lay your bets wisely.  Are they reflective of a sound commitment to good practice, effective language and clear thinking?

If they are, then I wish you luck.

But equally, I wish you a speedy recovery when your luck runs out.  And it will sometimes.


Keep fighting that good fight,


PS. If you like this thinking, I can’t recommend a book more highly than I do “Thinking In Bets” by Professor Annie Duke. It’s a ripper and well worth a read or a listen on Audible.

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