Today, we conducted our first school-wide Lock Down Drill, a simulated event/incident/nightmare. Leading up to this event, an assembly, faculty meeting, and announcements helped prepare everyone. But some people wanted more. Or, better yet, some people needed more.
Over the last two weeks, people asked questions.
- What do I do if I'm in the hallway and the intruder is right there in front of me?
- Is it okay to run outside?
- Can we use our cell phones?
- If we're to station ourselves in the classrooms in such a way that we can't be seen by someone in the hallway, then how are we supposed to close the blinds on the windows?
- What should we use to cover the glass in the door?
- So I'm in the bathroom, in a stall, sitting on the toilet doing my business and the intruder walks in. What do I do?
In fact, we were all told that if we find ourselves 'in a moment' then we should, like the little Amish boy in Witness, lift our legs up to the level of the toilet seat and remain absolutely quiet.
There's just something so disappointing about this question and its response. It is over-specification of an unwritten policy as well as an acute delineation of details.
And then I think about the pointedness of the question and its even more-pointed response, and I realize that the question is nit-picking and its corresponding answer is debilitating.
Sometimes we ask too many questions. Sometimes we ask them because we are not so much interested in the answer as we are with stalling a process.
Sometimes we work too hard to provide answers. Sometimes we over-specify, over-scaffold, and over-justify and we render ourselves paralyzed.
And this Q&A business is slowly emerging as the most profound obstacle in getting teachers on board with change.