Of course, Gracie is my greatest idol because she would always encourage everyone to do things their own way. What we would call "thinking outside the box" today was an everyday event for her. She even had an analog clock on her desk that ran counterclockwise just to show that you don't always have to do everything the same way everyone else does it. I suppose that she was akin to a modern day Henry David Thoreau following the beat of her own drum! For example, she would always say, and I'm paraphrasing, that "it's a lot easier to act first and ask for forgiveness later." In other words, asking for permission before you do something is just putting responsibility on someone else's shoulders. Be a leader! If you think there's a better way to do something, go ahead and do it! Stand up for what you believe! Have the courage of your convictions! That's how I got Linux into my classroom back in the 1990s when Linux first came out. I couldn't stand how programmer unfriendly our Windows OS and Novell Network was. So, one day, I just downloaded and installed Slackware Linux.
Here's my conversation with my boss the day after installation 24 years ago,
Boss: "Wait, that's not Windows, what is it?"
Me: "Right you are, it's Linux!"
Me: "I don't do Windows,
Me: "and neither does my maid!"
Boss: "Oh my, how much does it cost?"
Me: "I use FLOSS everyday!"
Me: "Free Linux Open Source Software."
Boss: "Aren't you breaking CopyRight law?"
Me: "Nope, it's CopyLefted!"
Boss: "We can't run that here!
Boss: "Who will maintain it?"
Me: "Well, I will, of course!"
Boss: "What a great idea!"
And it's been that way ever since .... except, last year, IT replaced all my Linux Partitions with WimpDoze!
Oh, one more thing: I name my Graphing Calculators after Science Fiction and Fantasy characters. See if you can name each TV show or movie:
So, how do you reach your kids? I hope I've inspired you to "think outside the box" yourself. Maybe I gave you a few ideas you can use in your classroom? Time to get creative with your kids. Go find the beat of your drum!