Now granted, I don’t know if I would consider the target of this post to be “cheap thrills,” but as I was running this morning, Sia’s song came on via an amazing app I use called Rock My Run (definitely check it out) and I started to reflect on the lyrics that she and Sean Paul hit on during the song, and how it influences me as a leader, a learner, and simply, a person (by the way, if you’ve never seen the video for the song, you must watch it).
In our increasingly consumer-focused society, it is hard to have fun without dollar bills. Almost everything we do, everything we see, has some sort of cost attributed to it. So, it becomes incredibly easy to see the world as driven solely by money.
And yet, on the last day of our Memorial Day weekend, we spent a bunch of time outside, in our front yard, just enjoying the nice weather, running around, and being incredibly silly. Both my daughters had a great day, and my wife and I laughed the whole time.
There’s much that we can apply here regarding education. At times, particularly for our districts that have more access to funding, purchases can be made simply because the funds are available. Take the SMARTBoard movement of the mid-2000s. Almost any school/district that had funding available purchased many of these interactive tools. Few spent much time on training beyond simple implementation. What happened? For many of us, SMARTBoards became tech-infused chalkboards, used for writing and erasing. This isn’t a problem of the SMARTBoard, but rather, it comes back to our desire and/or need to lead, learn, and live with money as the key currency.
While I certainly believe money is a necessary currency, it doesn’t have to be the key one. Friendship, love, mindset, community, wellness, support, etc. are necessary currencies too. One of the best moves we can make as leaders in any capacity is to expand the accepted currencies in our schools, districts, and/or organizations. Cash, credit, or debit are never enough. Hugs, handshakes, feedback, a shoulder, an ear, or in the case of the SMARTBoards, training and support, are all valid, and valuable currencies, if we let them be. And we must, if we hope for there to be equity in learning for all.
Sia and Sean Paul have it right. As the song continues, “No I ain’t got cash. I ain’t got cash. But I got you baby.” Those relationships, and the assorted currency they provide, are sometimes, all we really need to have fun today, tomorrow, and beyond.