The Order and Chaos Mindset

How do I describe Google Teacher Academy (GTA) & Google Educator Group Summit (GEG) 3 weeks ago?
It’s a moment of mindset transformation.

What kind of mindset?
I thank God after coming back from GTA & GEG, I learned the similar mindset transformation from my Pastor at my church.
Thanks to Ps. Jason Budiprasetya who help me to explore the mindset transformation.
So what is that?
It’s intersection of order and chaos.

Remember The awesomeness of Lego movie?
it comes from the beauty of order and chaos! Batman, Dumbledore, Lego, and many more chaotic figures and stories have weaved the awesomeness.
Here’s the mindset transformation:
Many teachers tend to think that we should and must live a life of order. But, it’s rarely to find teachers who want to combine order and chaos.
I used to think that teachers should always live a life of ORDER:
1. Core Values : stuck on the same and static values
2. Manual : do everything as told
3. Policies : Follow every single words on the strict rules
4. System : Limited by system
5. Status Quo : Stay calm, comfort and quite
6. Maintenance : Maintain same thing forever.
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Well, we have lived that for many many years and we often fail to do it. I am imperfect man.
That’s why I decided to add some chaos in it to shake my comfort order life by having:
1. Application : Enough for theory and plan. Make it happen.
2. New initiatives : Let’s make something new!
3. Research & Development : Analyze, Evaluate, Reflect, and Change what we do.
4. Trial & Error : Make mistake and learn from it
5. Innovation : Create awesome thing
6. Change : Transform your practice
7. Growth : Grow your potential
Many teachers are famous of their history, tradition, precision lifestyle.
1. History : We should always look back to our founder and past.
2. Tradition : We should do things as our elder did
3. Precision : It should be fixed. No change.
That’s really order and I could not do that perfectly. Not even close to perfect because I allow some chaos in it.
1. Future : Let’s look for our future.
2. Tomorrow : Do things that match our tomorrow.
3. Ambiguity : Take risks to grow.

Many  teachers are used to experience this emotion and feeling:
1. In control : Everything should be controlled.
2. Predictable : We should predict what is the result
3. Manageable : It’s under our control
4. Boredom : Same thing
Come on, we live in dynamic life and emotion, we need to make some noise:
1. Out of control: Go Crazy
2. Turmoil: Surprise & Spontaneous
3. Exciting: Be amazing
4. Anxiety for some: Be anxious for innovation.
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There is a popular label for teachers:
Critical : Look for one single answer.
Perfectionist : Get 100 score
Late adopters of change : We don’t need that now.
Sensing, Thinking, Judging : Count your mistakes
It’s time to change the label because we could not be like that. Let’s have new label:
Creative : Be divergent. Be different
Visionary : Look for tomorrow. Focus on dreams
Early adopters of change : We will be the pioneers!
Intuition, feeling, perceiving : I can feel that

Teacher’s environment is used to be characterized by these order attributes:
Centralized : Just follow
Top Down : Obey the order
Historical Power : Our ancestor, founder always do that
Seniority : I have more experiences
How to avoid risks : Don’t do that. Too risky.
This is impossible: No budget.
We have never done that: We have no experience. It won’t work.

Let’s make new chaos environment:
Decentralized : Let’s contribute
Bottom Up : Welcome ideas
Value and Practice : We could practice to make innovation
How to manage risks: Do that. Let’s manage the risks.
It’s possible : We could find solution.
We could do that: We have no experience. Yet We have great team. Let’s try.
Wanna try the awesome teaching life?
Make some noise in your life by combining Order & Chaos!

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5 Responses

  1. danielasurya says:

    Very compelling, Steven!

  2. Tim Drown says:

    Hi Steven!
    The key is keeping a balance. Past history and established order are useful (very biblical) but we should not be restricted by our past or afraid of some serendipity in our lives. The key is valuing both history and order as well as chance and chaos. One extreme or the other is not healthy. Post-modernism has gone to the extreme of throwing out history and order altogether. I don’t think you intend us to do the same. BTW, have you ever gone to class without a complete lesson plan? If so, what happened?
    [My answer: it makes me “think on my feet”, it makes me more responsive to my students, it makes me more stressed, but sometimes my students and I can cooperate to create some wonderful learning this way. We both create and do the lesson plan together at the same time. I don’t recommend that you do this very often and I don’t recommend that novice teachers do this but sometimes the result is a wonderful surprise. Good teachers help students learn. Good learners help good teachers teach better.]

  3. Hi Mr. Tim!
    Thank you for your response.
    I do agree that we need to keep both in balance proportion.
    One extreme or the other has terrible impact.
    Yes, I definitely don’t intend us to leave order and history like Post Modern do. What I am trying to say is we often fall into history and order mindset that hinder us to challenge us to go ‘chaos’ for creativity.
    I have gone to class without a complete lesson plan. It makes me listen to spontaneous & surprising students voice in the class. Well, I don’t recommend this too. We need to keep them organized. But well, teachers and students should be great collaborator.

  4. Srinawati says:

    I love what you wrote. A great analysis. I think you confused creativity with chaos, if I am not mistaken. They are two different things…The former artistic thinkings or ideas, while the latter creates disorder.
    But I disagreed with your method going to class without any plan at all in mind, leaving the students voicing their minds. Suppose you have forty students, you will have forty minds..You meant you had no idea what you wanted to achieve? How did you measure your success or if your idea was expressed by your students? You let your classroom ran amuck…
    To my mind teachers should always have a plan when coming to class. Activities within the class and students’ response is an anticipation of that plan. A random discussion produces little, since we don’t know exactly what we are looking for answers.
    Nice job, by the way…proud of you…

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