Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Sometimes Green Doesn't Mean Go

I just dropped my daughters off at daycare this morning and was sitting at the light waiting to make a left-hand turn. Most of you reading this probably did the same thing.  The light turned green and 99.9% of the time I would have hit the gas to continue on my way to school.  Fortunately this morning I did not do that.  Had I hit the gas, I would be dead.

For some reason out of the corner of my eye I saw a car coming from my left,  towards the intersection, showing no signs of slowing down.  This was not a case of someone trying to get through a yellow light, as my light had already been green for about 2 seconds.  This was someone who was clearly not paying attention, had no idea her light was red, and never hit her breaks to slow down.

I just finished reading Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink this weekend  (not that I am crediting him for saving my life this morning, but who knows?).  If you have not read this book, it basically is about how your mind can tell if something is right, or not right, in the blink of an eye.  Fortunately I saw the car out of the corner of my eye, and my brain said “That does not look right.”  So I waited, and honked my horn as loud and intimidating as a Honda Civic’s horn can be.  Really, I just used common sense.

In our jobs as educators, this is something that we do, and maybe need to do more often - use common sense.  This is why discipline is never black and white.  There is always a gray area. Sometimes a gun is a weapon and other times it is a Pop-Tart.  Do we really discipline them both the same way or do we use common sense?

Most of us are in education for noble reasons. We are there for kids, but sometimes our actions seem to contradict that notion. Sometimes, we just need to use common sense before making decisions. Sometimes, green doesn't mean go.

Any time my four-year old is in the car with me, she says, “Daddy, green means go.”  Not always.

1 comment:

  1. Wow—scary, and a great leadership lesson! Glad you are OK, Ryan.