Lessons from Groundhog Day (the movie)

Happy Groundhog Day!! The good new is that Punxsutawney Phil predicts an early spring. This day always reminds me of one of my favorite movies, Bill Murray’s Groundhog Day.

groundhog day

Those of you who have watched the movie already know this, but the premise is that Bill Murray’s character, reporter Phil Connors, is stuck reliving the same day over and over again. It is not until Phil turns a new leaf and becomes a better person in both thought and deed that he is able to escape the loop and move on to a new day, luckily in the arms of the beautiful Rita, played by Andie MacDowell.

Ironically, this movie has greatly influenced my thinking as an educator and, quite frankly, as a person. One of the biggest lessons of the movie is that if we do what we always have done, we will always get the same result. If we want things to be different, we have to be different. As Gandhi taught us, if we change, the world changes. Sometimes it seems very unfair that we have to change even though the other person is in the wrong. But even then, if we really want things to be different, it starts within ourselves.

We talk about “students these days” being different and needing different things, and it is so true. We pull every tool from our vast toolbelt to help our most struggling students and sometimes not a single strategy works. I hear from educators all over the country that “sometimes” is occurring more and more frequently.

When we treat students they way they have always
-quote from Through the Lens of Serendipity

There are many resources out there to help us help our students in different ways and to learn new strategies. But, the change has to start with recognizing that the way we are doing things works for many students, but it will not work for some. Our educator hearts want to reach every student, and in order to do that we have to be the change. Fair or unfair, right or wrong, let’s take a lesson from Groundhog Day and wake up tomorrow ready to add a few new tricks to our toolbelt.

Happy Groundhog Day my friends!! Cheers to doing things differently and cheers to an early spring!

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