No, that’s not a typo…Parc Aventure is a high ropes course in Aigle, Switzerland. Though nearly within view of our mountain village of Leysin, it’s about as physically distant (though not psychologically) as you can get from my day job.
Although we are often surprised by the things that happen at school on a daily basis, how many things really put us outside of our comfort zones so that we can really grow (and learn)? Preparation is the name of the game. Structure. Predictability.
My hope during these summer months is that you throw all of that out the window and go outside, WAY outside of your comfort zone. Maybe it will give you a little indication of what a new student feels like on the first day in your class. I am terrified of heights. So, I went on the high ropes course and walked between two trees, fifty metres off the ground, on a wobbly ladder.
Did you see Nik Wallenda walk across the Grand Canyon in the USA the other day WITHOUT a safety harness? If that doesn’t say third grade teacher I don’t know what does. And this is a guy who lost seven family members doing the same thing. He said, (I paraphrase), that either you die or you feel more alive than ever. Now we don’t want every day at work to be like that, but it isn’t so bad feeling more alive than ever from time to time.
Not that I’m encouraging you to put your lives at risk (Parc Aventure after all had safety harnesses), but get out there with that sweetness of summer at your fingertips and take a big risk that has absolutely nothing to do with your job and everything to do with embracing life. It will make you a better educator and a better leader.
See you on the zip line.