Are You Paralyzed when Plans go Awry?

“If Plan A didn’t work, the alphabet has 25 more letters.  Stay cool!”  - Unknown
When we plan for our students, class, an assessment or the day, we seldom build in ideas for those times when things will not work out.  The rule of thumb suggests that you must plan in order to succeed, but when your plan leads you to failure, what is your next option?  It’s to make another plan!  Educators are tasked with having the week planned out and then taking the opportunity to go through the plans and visualize what may go right or wrong.  I encourage you to really look at your history of planning and interrogate how many times you anticipated this question.  “What could go wrong?”

I am reminded of my first year as a teacher when many things went wrong.  Lesson plans didn’t last for the amount of time I planned.  Mini lessons went awry in a split second and a small conversation with a student turned into an off track opportunity.  Many times we look at a few of these instances as either a lesson in flexibility or a teachable moment, but we must consider the alternative.  Was an alternate plan in place? 
I like the idea of being able to morph into a different plan if the first, second, third, or fourth plan doesn’t pan out, but wouldn’t it be great to have those plans in place already?  If you plan for all the possibilities, you have scenarios that outlast Plan A.  Let’s continue to have a solid plan in place, but that solid plan doesn’t have to be the only plan. 

Imagine the possibilities of life when you have a backup for the backup.  My goal for the last quarter of this year is to begin creating built in parachute plans.  I want to be prepared for possibilities, not paralyzed by them.  

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