The scary part about biking on thin ice is that, well, you are biking on thin ice. With the bright sunshine and temps nearing 40oF, the snow on the lake today was just squishy enough to allow the fat tires of the Moonlander and the Pugsley to make their way across Big Spirit. One nice thing about biking on a lake is that there is very little traffic. Oh, and you can’t really complain much about the hills.
Still, it is unnerving to think about what lies beneath the soft white snow. The waters of Big Spirit are deep, and cold. Every once in awhile, we would hear the loud cracking of the ice, and I would pedal faster. My hope was that if I biked fast enough, the Moonlander tires would float just long enough to wheel me to safety.
Lately, my mind tends to spin in circles just like the pedals on my bike as I think about the many different reform directions that institutional education finds itself being pulled. Brain Research Shows that too many options can lead to “decision fatigue” from information overload. As educators, we’ve been invited to an “all you can eat” buffet of school reform initiatives including Project Based Learning, Competency Based Education, Blended Learning, technology integration, flipped classrooms, Core Curriculum, Career and College Readiness, Value Added Measures, 21st Century Teaching and Learning, PISA, Waivers and Charter Schools—and that is just the beginning of the Governor’s Recommendation for the ever-elusive World Class School.
In some ways, I wish there was a clearly marked road to follow. I wish someone, somewhere had figured out exactly how to deliver the best possible high quality public education for every kid, every day. I wish I could just Google the words “Perfect School”, and then bookmark it, tweet it, blog it and do it. I would buy everyone a ticket on the Perfect School Train and we would all jump on board.
On the other hand, maybe I don’t wish that.
As I biked across the frozen lake today, in the stillness of the snow and the almost blinding brightness of the sun, I realized that the magic of this experience was the incredible freedom of biking without boundaries. No roads and limitless directions to choose from. No stop signs, no rules, no trails and no maps—just a warm wind at my back and a world of possibilities. Along with that freedom comes risk. The risk of making a mistake, of falling, or of growing tired before the ride is complete. Maybe even running into open water, dark and deep. But it is worth it.
Oh, it is worth it.