If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, you’ve probably seen me post on the #BeSavageNotAverage hashtag or post a picture with that phrase on it. When I saw that phrase on Pinterest over a year ago, it immediately stuck out to me. It has driven a lot of my passion and projects over the last year and a half and I want to share with you exactly why I love it.
The phrase itself exudes power. Savage, by its Google definition, means fierce, violent, and uncontrolled in regards to an animal or force of nature. My mind first travels to the thought of a lion hunting down a gazelle. It’s fast, it’s strong, and it’s uninhibited. The word savage can sometimes have a negative connotation, but consider it in a positive light. The savage lion gets the job done quickly and efficiently.
In education, that means that a savage individual attacks the problem, issue, or project with such intensity and focus that it’s almost near impossible to stop them. Being savage in a classroom means that you are doing the right work and doing it with such passion that no one will question your intentions. You have a goal and you are going after it.
Consider the second part of the phrase, however. “Not average.” According to its Google definition, average means the typical or central value in a set of data. Within the context of education, that might mean what’s happening in most classrooms. It might be referring to what’s happening in a typical school. It’s not to say that average is bad, by any means.
But it’s not savage.
Personally, I love the message “Be Savage, Not Average” because I believe it gives you permission to fail. In order to escape average, you have to step outside the box. You have to live outside the norm. It’s not easy and it’s not always effective. But it’s necessary.
In order for change to happen in schools, we must dare to be savage. That might mean that you’re trying new teaching techniques, incorporating technology in ways that transform the classroom or designing schools that truly meet the unique needs of learners. Whatever it is that you’re doing, it’s different. It’s daring. It’s savage.
And the intention behind that – to be different and to change the status quo – that intention gives you permission to fail. It tells you, it’s ok that this might not work, as long as you tried.
Be savage, not average reminds me of another one of my favorite quotes, “Ask for forgiveness later, instead of permission now.”
Do it. Go for it. Make it happen.
Be Savage. Not Average.