The same old routine

I wonder if you read recently about Davis Vilums, the Latvian computer programmer who moved to London seven years ago, and has just completed a five-year mission to cycle every street in Central London, recording his journeys on Endomondo and colouring in a ‘Super Scale’ A-Z as he went:

“I am a passionate cyclist, and I love the streets of London. Most of my travels are daily 25-minute rides to work. Over time my route became boring. I decided to make it a little bit more interesting by taking the parallel streets on my way there. I bought a map of central London and started to colour in the streets to mark the routes that I have taken. And then I got obsessed with it.”

 

Davis now feels a real “sense of accomplishment” and every corner of central London is like home. He has yet to decide on his next challenge.

I like this story! Rather alarmingly, I have sometimes driven to work or home without any recollection of certain aspects of the route – even if I am very fortunate to pass through beautiful (though currently wet and dark) countryside. And that’s because it has become a routine which doesn’t require too much hard thinking over which way to go.

Schools (and indeed most large organisations) need routine and order to function efficiently and we all tell our children to establish good habits from an early age. However, it’s really good for all of us to be shaken out of that routine from time to time, as routine can stifle creativity. That’s why a good lesson will contain variety and challenge pupils to ‘think outside the box’.

Familiarity can be comfortable and reassuring, yet our imaginations are fired by new adventures and challenges, and fresh perspectives enable us to view the world and those around us in a different way. That’s why so many of us love the joy of discovery and travel.

But we don’t need to hop on a plane, nor do we need to cycle or drive every country lane in Leicestershire! Sometimes it’s simply a case of opening our eyes to an alternative view.

Happy exploring!

Best wishes

John Watson
Headmaster and Principal