The #Unhinged Lessons

Broken Doorknobs

Broken DoorknobIf you were here last time, then you probably saw this pic and heard this story: Some Doors Don’t Open.

Here’s the backchannel.

I have a new classroom. Turns out, I’m a math teacher [which is actually news to a lot of people.. myself included].

I arrived at school on the first teachers-come-back day expecting to paint my unique flair around the room. Instead.. I find it totally junked out and dirty. It hadn’t been cleaned from the previous school year. [In my best pirate-y voice, you can imagine a mighty AAARRGGHH!!]

So I set to task with trashcan and cleaning supplies in hand. And then.. the Great Scavenger Hunt began.

Where are the textbooks?
Where are the calculators?
Where are the login creds?
Where ARE the Promethean board clickers?!?!


Finally someone knew that all these were locked away in the closet.

Perfect. More scavenging.

Okay then..


Unhinged“I dunno. He has them.”

“I dunno. She has them.”

“I don’t have them.”

“It’s not my fault they didn’t get back to the front office.”

“It’s their fault.”


Ironically, none of that mattered. Because when I checked if the door was even locked, the knob broke off in my hand.

I tried to fix it myself but I was too late. It died.

Okay then. What next?

Maintenance work order request. No one comes. No one comes. Finally, one person comes. “Hmmm.. I’m going to have to think about this.”

[Pirate-y voice again: I need those electronics! AAARRGGHH!!]

I take matters into my own hands. Go home and get my handy-dandy screwdriver and hammer. Take the doors off the hinges.

Calculators. Yes! Passwords. Yes! Clickers. Yes! [Textbooks.. different locked closet. “Yes of course! I have the key to that one.”] [Aaarrrggghhh!!]

The Unhinged Lessons

This picture actually turned into the perfect metaphor on way deeper levels and taught me some valuable lessons. Wanna hear?

Some doors don’t open. And more.. some doors are not meant to open.. because we must be forced to take matters into our own hands. And I do mean forced. If we skate through life with a key to every locked door, then we may never learn what we are truly capable of achieving. #Grit #GrowthMindset

#Unhinged No. 1: Break down the doors that hold you back.

People will always do what’s in their own best interest. It’s the basic premise of all human psychological / emotional / physical / spiritual development. In electrical engineering terms [which I spout out a lot]: Electricity flows the path of least resistance.

Same is true for water. Same is true for people. So much easier to pass the I-dunno-where-the-key-is-buck and the You-want-me-to-fix-this?-buck than to do something about it.

#Unhinged No. 2: Don’t wait for permission to act.

Control is an illusion.

I have spent one teachers-are-back week and one students-are-back week listening to adults trying to figure out how to control kids.

< < < Newsflash: It can’t be done! > > >

No strategy / no technique / no homework-tardy-discipline policy will control attitude-behavior-social actions.

And more.. Kids don’t want to be controlled!  [Do adults?]  No.. kids want to be inspired.

All of life is.. in fact.. about being self-aware-enough / flexible-enough / confident-enough to live in the tension and mess and chaos. Unhinged. Because every thing changes every day in every moment. People do too.

#Unhinged No. 3: You can never step into the same river twice.

Live unhinged a little deeper every day.

It will be okay. I promise.

2 thoughts on “The #Unhinged Lessons

  1. Yes, kids need to be inspired but they also need to learn not to give up when faced with a difficulty, not to accept no (or silence) as a reason to quit trying, and to find unorthodox solutions to problems that they encounter. If you can do that, you will be an amazing teacher.

  2. Pingback: Final Answer Regis! | ChangePlane

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