Alright 80ś babies… and 90ś kids… we all know who this guy is…

I can still hear the theme song in my head as I am typing this. He was the ultimate. He was the master of all. He was unbelievable. He amazed me every time I watched him. The plot of every episode followed this pattern… Penny and Brain secretly do all the real detective work. While often oblivious to his potential, Gadget has a knack of inadvertently saving the day, usually without realizing he is doing so. He walks around as part man and part machine with hundreds of gadgets. He is undercover.

I know we are not all walking around as Inspector Gadgets… however, I often wonder if we walk around UNDERCOVER.

What does is mean to be undercover? According to Google, undercover is defined as involved in or involving secret work within a community or organization. Letś look at the word undercover through several different lenses.

Lens 1: Educator

Every student is walking around with ¨gadgets¨. Gadgets to make them stronger, more successful, and more efficient. They are undercover. Just imagine for a moment the students walking into our rooms. I know I am not the only one who is questioning… What are they hiding? Who are they really? If they were in this room by themselves, would they act the same way? What tricks do they have up their sleeves? I am ready to discover. I am ready to expose. I am ready to peel the layers. I want to show them and teach them that they are more than just a student who is walking around undercover. They have abilities that will take them to and beyond the imagination.

Lens 2: Learner

Walking around with hidden talents and untapped potential, just waiting for them to be discovered. I go throughout my day full of choices, situations, and conversations; many I do not know how to handle; many I handle incorrectly; many that make me feel more confident… all the while I realize I am in a clouded world full of comparison and competition. I need to be ready. I need to be prepared. I need to act smart. I wait patiently for the people in my life to help me uncover my talents and potential because I long to be successful. As for now, I am undercover.

Lens 3: Leader

SO MANY GIFTS… everyone has them… what if we all discovered AND UTILIZED our gifts? This world, our community, our schools, our homes would (blank)… you fill it in. Right now, I am walking around drowning in life; barely staying above that imaginary line I call survival. The status quo is haunting. I want more. I want more for my students. I want more for others. I want more for me. I want to be mentored by someone who understands and take the time to really know me and my ¨gadgets¨. One of the worst feelings as a leader is hitting the ceiling due to the compliance of check boxes. Not being allowed to be me, a leader. Instead, I walk around undercover.

So, the purpose of this blog… being undercover… hiding… blending in… is not what this world in education needs. Push the limits. Be the ONE. Question the normal. Be a discoverer. We all deserve for people to recognize our talents. We all deserve for others to capitalize on our talents. But most importantly, we all owe it to ourselves to know, recognize, and make sure our talents are being utilized; even if that means being on an island or being the odd man out…

As a teacher… How will you extract the gadgets of your students?

As a learner… How will you insist that someone recognizes the talents you have?

As a leader… How will push past status quo?

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