This saying gets used a lot in life. Often, sayings related to sports have a way of finding their way into every aspect of what we do.
This one is no different. . . in fact, it is a great one to live by in education.
In my current role, we are always working to find the best ways to meet the needs of our districts. And, we want to do so by being ever better than we were even a day before. This constant innovation and improvement isn’t easy, but it is a necessity. We can only give others what they need when we’re willing to step off our current path, and explore a new one.
This is difficult. It always seems easiest to keep our game consistent, as it doesn’t require additional practice, changes in what we’re already doing, or reflecting on the fact that maybe, just maybe, we aren’t doing things entirely “right.”
But there is a tremendous benefit to constantly shifting. That benefit is learning to see the value of not being sure how things will end up, and relishing the opportunity to try something new, even if it fails. By constantly adjusting our game plan, we become more capable of dealing with challenges when they come, as they come.
And there will be plenty of challenges.
When we “step up” we let others know (and we let ourselves know, just as importantly) that we not only won’t give up, but we’ll get better, and therefore, every misstep is one that can lead us to steps in the right direction.
Whether talking about sports, or designing professional development, I can honestly say that if I can get to the point where I’m living “We Have to Step Up Our Game” every day, then I’m doing everything possible to meet the needs of those I work with and work for. And that’s a great goal to aim for.