My friend took me out to lunch a couple of weeks ago after a huge staff development we planned and executed together. During lunch she told me that she thought my sparkle, my excitement, had left me. Boom. There it was. In my face. She told me that she felt that I was reciting something that I didn’t feel excited about, something that I knew I should do, but didn’t necessarily have my heart behind.
Clearly, this was cause for pause, to take some time out to reflect on what she had to say.
In the time since, what I have gathered, my understanding of this moment is that she believes I can do better. I can motivate and bring people into the conversation. She believes I have the power within me to inspire people.
I am reading Brene Brown’s Rising Strong right now. She talks about this moment called the rumble. My understanding of the rumble is that when something is about to shift within a person, they feel it rumbling inside. It’s kind of like the rumble strip on the freeway that’s designed to wake people up when they fall asleep while driving. People must work to name the rumble. They must feel the rumble with a sense of curiosity.
Here is my rumble: I feel the people I work with are doing their jobs to the best of their abilities day in and day out. Because of my new position, I feel now more than ever before that teachers genuinely want to improve their practice. But it is the day-to-day slog of trying to get done everything that is wearing teachers down. Despite this, they seek to improve, they seek to get better.
My new job, as I see it, is part inspire teachers, part support teachers, and part help teachers create a sustainable vision.
Talking to a colleague today it sort of seems like education, as a whole, in our country right now has no real sustainable vision.
- As we distance from a pure accountability stance, (I live in Colorado where parents opt their students out of testing left and right) what’s the next move?
- What role do teachers play to develop this vision?
- We want students to reach their fullest potential, how do we do this?
- What does this look like?
- How do we stop the machine long enough to look our students in the eye to see how to move forward?