Look our for SQUIRRELs

They sneak up on us from everywhere. Something we heard about at a conference, a blog post we read, something we saw on Pinterest or Facebook or Twitter. Maybe at an EdCamp or an observation at another school. We think, “If I did this, it would change everything; it would totally solve the problem of __________.” And all the sudden we want to drop everything and focus on that idea.

I like to call these squirrels, those silver bullets for situations that don’t have silver bullets. Deep down, we know there’s no quick fix (of course there isn’t), but that shiny new package is so … shiny.

We know that change takes time. We know that one quick intervention won’t solve a complicated problem. We know that getting that new piece of technology, having everyone read that new book, or adopting that new policy won’t change things overnight. We know this. But those squirrels are still out there, vying for our attention.

And of course, there’s no quick fix (squirrel?) to avoid squirrels. But we need to be aware that they’re always there. And if you find yourself super-excited about something as soon as you hear about it, sure that this new idea will solve that problem, stop. Take a breath. Sleep on it. Ask some colleagues what they think.

Beware of squirrels.


This started as a post about technology (about Squirrel Apps), but as I mulled it around it became about so much more in schools (and in life for that matter).

One thought on “Look our for SQUIRRELs

  1. Very good “warning”… just putting iPad stations and Chromebook stations in classrooms won’t mean we are going to achieve student learning objectives magically. We become too focused on the new… the trend… the devices… we need to step back and ask ourselves what’s good teaching? What’s developmentally appropriate? What are we really trying to have students learn? Then make articulated steps toward the goal(s). Thanks for the reminder.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *