Throughout the London Tube there are signs directing travelers to the exit, as you can see in the accompanying photo the signs read Way Out.  Many years ago when I first encountered a Way Out sign instead of the more familiar to me Exit sign it made me smile.

When I was young way out had a very different connotation as it referred to something or someone who was:

  • Creative
  • Innovative
  • Original
  • Unusual
  • Experimental
  • Visionary

We used corresponding words like cool, far-out, hip and super.  I do not remember using the word groovy but it seems that word accompanies such a sense of being way out in popular literature and media.

When I see the sign Way Out and observe individuals immediately exit the tube station I wonder if anyone would consider Way Out to be a prompt for creative action.   I assume that choice is not on anyone’s mind but believe risk-taking, innovation and creativity would result from such a re-orientation to Way Out signs.

So the next time you see a Way Out sign consider it a catalyst for reaching higher rather than an escape.  And if you do not encounter a Way Out sign create your own and use it to encourage your creativity.

Terry Pickeral
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Terry Pickeral

Terry Pickeral, has extensive experience in policy development, advocacy, education reform, youth leadership, teaching and learning strategies, education collaborations, evaluation and civic development. His commitment is to ensuring schools create and sustain quality teaching and learning environments for all students to be successful in school and contribute to their communities as active principled citizens.
Terry Pickeral
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