As 2017 draws to a close, I'm stepping away from my stack of blog post drafts and going rogue with a reflection.
This fall, I joined forces with a group of dynamic eduleaders in our district. Inspired by a blog post over at Cult of Pedagogy, we formed a Mastermind. District instructional leaders like me, assistant principals and principals from all grade levels set aside an hour each week in our wild and crazy schedules to reflect on a book we read together and take a turn in the hot seat. It changed my life.
I took a turn in the hot seat early. I had a meeting with my ITFs and with a shifting climate surrounding their roles, they were uneasy. I knew what needed to be done, but I needed advice and the perspective of others that were NOT in those roles on how to move my group of ITFs forward. I received so many useful ideas from this group. In a few short months, the ITFs have made tremendous strides - it has been noticed by many. The input from the Masterminds helped to turn a struggle into an amazing journey. I'm not going to lie, the hot seat can be uncomfortable. I'm struggling with my next turn in it. I know what the problem is that I really need help with, but I need to figure out how to phrase it. As I search for the words, I'm struggling most with what is at the root of the problem.
The other great part of this group is the conversations surrounding the book we read. Our first title was Launch, by John Spencer and AJ Juliani. Our fearless Mastermind leader and I got hooked on Design Thinking and its impact on learning last fall. Always hungry to learn more and get practical application strategies, this book was perfect to start our experiment in different learning for ourselves and helped unleash our creativity! Currently, we are reading Lead like a PIRATE by Shelley Burgess and Beth Houf. At the beginning of Section 2 on Immersion, they led with a post from Seth Godin's blog about 'job" versus "work" and I knew then that in the upcoming new year, I needed to fix a few things.
"So busy doing my job, I can't get any work done"
The job had overtaken the work. The work was my passion...the job was slowly silencing the passion. Something had to give! My brain was in a perpetual state of stuck...frozen by interruptions to my creative flow.
These interruptions were slowly suffocating me. In 2018, that is going to change.
On deck for 2018 are posts about personalized learning, compliance vs. creativity, and balance. That last one just may be my #oneword for the new year.