Thinking outside the box…

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I —
I took the one less traveled by,
and that has made all the difference.”

~Robert Frost

Yes, I realize “Thinking outside the box” may be an overused cliché. But it continues to take on meaning each day I work with students, teachers, and administrators. Instead of standing at road blocks and waiting, we continue to “think outside the box” perhaps taking the road less traveled and it is making a difference. When our goals stay clearly focused on students needs, rather than our own we are able to accomplish great things.

One of my favorite goal setting videos is entitled “Smart Kid!” As you will see, this young boy decides to take matters into his own hands to solve a problem. He develops quite a creative plan focused on his goal.

Being faced with challenges in education has always been part of the territory. During this season of thanksgiving, I’m grateful to have educators in my life (both in person and virtually) that are trying their best to look at those challenges as opportunities to learn and become the best educators they can be!  They know that in order to meet the needs of students they have to try new approaches. They can’t continue to do things the same way they always have and expect different results.

  • Funding Challenges = Opportunities to write grants, find business partners, engage parents and other community members, and develop fund-raising techniques that involve a larger base than just selling things to family members.
  • Student Learning Challenges = Opportunities to seek new knowledge and try different teaching methods, collaborate both colleagues at school and globally, build relationships with students and engage students in self-goal setting and reflection.
  • Time Challenges = Opportunities to structure time differently, eliminate unnecessary time takers and seek ideas from others in the field of education.
  • Professional Development Challenges = Building internal capacity with teachers to assist in the planning and implementation of school wide focus areas and developing personal learning networks (PLN) to grow as educators and communicate with like-minded individuals and groups.

If we continue to stay focused on our goals we will succeed. Our students depend on our advocacy and dedication to meeting their needs. Thanks for seeing their potential and believing in them!

“Teachers who inspire realize there will always be rocks in the road ahead of us.  They will be stumbling blocks or stepping stones; it all depends on how we use them.”  ~Author Unknown

What are ways you are “Thinking outside the box?” Sharing ideas with each other helps us all to Learn and Grow!


  • Aviva (@grade1) 28 Nov

    Kathy, I love how positive you are here and on Twitter too! I think that being positive makes a big difference. Your quote at the bottom of your blog post is so true indeed.

    Excellent work, Kathy!

    • Kathy Perret 28 Nov

      Thanks, Aviva! Staying positive definitely helps, especially when the road gets a bit rocky. I’m a firm believer that anything is possible. Positive thinking, determination and persistence are key. I’ve learned that from some very good friends along the way!

  • Erin Olson eolsonteacher 2 Dec

    I enjoy “working” with you online-your passion shines through your posts. There are barriers, and there will always be. But, we, teachers can continue to push through, forge ahead, pave the path. We cannot focus on what we can’t do, for if we do-nothing will happen. Another great post!
    Thanks for sharing your work, your heart!

    • Kathy Perret 2 Dec

      Thanks so much, Erin, for you nice comments. I enjoy our contact with each other as well. You are doing great things with your students. I hope our paths cross again, in person. Are you attending the next session in Cherokee with Angela Maiers and Brian Null: Building Learning Communities: A Hands‐On Adventure. It is being held Jan. 20 – 22. I have signed up.

      I love your “can-do” attitude! I truly believe in that as well. It’s nice to go down this path with you!

  • mom2mikey 2 Jan

    Thank you for this amazing post. I am an advocate for inclusion of all students in regular classrooms and one of the reasons I believe in this is exactly what you have posted here. It is the working through problems and finding solutions that makes up the core of learning and all students (and teachers) should be doing this as their education (not to get to the point where they can be “educated). Love it. Thanks for sharing. I look forward to reading more on your blog.

    • Kathy Perret 2 Jan

      Thank you for your nice comments! The inclusion of all students is a scary territory for many. In order for it to be successful, teachers need a strong layer of support. Many times I hear of schools following co-teaching models in order to assist with inclusion, yet they lack the necessary planning time as co-teachers. This is another area we need to “think outside the box” so inclusive classrooms can be what’s best for the students. Building a classroom learning community allows the opportunity for all students to learn from each other! As an aspiring administrator, this is important to me. I’d love to hear some of your ideas.

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