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Burn the Ships

One of the challenges we face as educators is knowing what to hold onto and what to let go of. This tension applies as much to ideas as it does to curriculum, budget codes, and pedagogy. The challenge is only exacerbated by a backdrop marked by rapid changes in technology and the ever-present expectation to increase results.

This past weekend, we went to a For King and Country concert in Minneapolis with some close friends. The concert was incredible and one of my favorite parts came from a live Q & A before the show. During that conversation the lead singers, Joel and Luke, shared where the name for their world tour, Burn the Ships, originated.

From a historical perspective, the phrase has to do with a ship’s captain setting a ship ablaze so the crew cannot retreat after they reach land. However, Joel and Luke shared the world tour and title song had an even deeper meaning connected to one of their loved ones confronting her addiction by flushing her pills down the toilet (a.k.a. burning the ships).

I’ve been thinking a lot about the concept of change leadership and culture lately. With this weekend’s concert in mind, I wonder where in my life God is calling me to “burn the ships.” What are the things (e.g. practices, tools, mindsets) I’m hanging onto that might be inhibiting my own learning or the growth of our school?

I’m used to writing blog posts that are a little further developed, but this time I wanted to pop the periscope above the surface for a brief moment and share some insight into something I’ve found solace in reflecting on the past few days.

I guess I thought you might appreciate it too.

If this blog post resonated, you might like my newest book, Reclaiming Our Calling: Hold on to the Heart, Mind, and Hope of Education. The book tackles a tension many educators are feeling using a combination of stories and practical strategies. If you’re interested in technology integration, Renegade Leadership: Creating Innovative Schools for Digital-Age Students is a best-seller with Corwin Press. Both books are built on the belief that everything we do in education starts with relationships and connectedness.



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