I just watched a Ted Talk by Ben Saunders which concluded with his plans for an upcoming Antarctic expedition on foot. He detailed his experiences doing things that most of us probably wouldn’t even dream about.

Watching this talk was inspiring. Now let’s be clear about one thing. I am not planning a polar expedition. While I do prefer cold weather to warm weather, my idea of a challenge does not include dragging a sledge filled with supplies across Antarctica for four months. I can think of a large number of things that I would rather do with my spare time.

But, Saunders is not encouraging everyone to run out and join a polar expedition. What he is encouraging is for us to get out and experience life. Getting out of the house, to borrow Saunder’s phrase, means stepping outside of your comfort zone.

I wrote about this in an earlier post when I was challenging myself to stretch my linguistics skills. Taking risks needs to be a part of education and equally applies to students and faculty. As an administrator, I’ve challenged myself to learn about design thinking and will be taking part in the Day School Collaboration Network that the Jewish Education Project is supporting along with UpStart Bay Area.

Normally, schools make changes gradually. We run a program, evaluate, and make the changes for the following year. Design thinking, however, challenges us to consider rapid prototyping – making quick sample products that you test out and then go back to the drawing board as you test out the ideas.

This approach runs contrary to what I’m used to doing and moves me out of my comfort zone. I’m looking forward to seeing how design thinking gets me out of the house in the upcoming months. I’ll be sharing my experiences through this blog.