I have talked before about the sad truth that I do not remember much of my schooling. It is one of the reasons I am so passionate about making school relevant and "sticky" for kids. There is ONE memory that does pop into my mind often. I don't know the grade, I don't know the subject, I can't remember the teacher...but I remember the activity. We were tasked to write a letter to our future self, on the premise that it would be mailed back to us at a later date (I want to say upon high school graduation). Well...the letter never came. It is quite disappointing, because I would have loved to see where I was in relationship to where I am.
Earlier this week, something sparked me to look back at one of my very first blog posts. I don't go back and read my own writings, often...but I sure am glad I did! Before I even began reading, my mind was taken right back to the time and space where I wrote it. I knew exactly where both my head and my heart were at in that moment. I remember that I was at a cross-roads. The purpose of writing that blog, was solely for me. I needed to decide if my current situation was going to lead me down a rabbit hole or be the foundation on to which I could build a sandcastle. The fact that it is chronicled for me, kind of blew my mind: "Rabbit Holes and Sandcastles".
I learned a lot from reading that post and reflecting back. The first thing that stood out was, "Boy, I hope I have grown as a writer since then". But what seriously stood out and caused me to pause, was the fact that in that post, I spelled out the kind of leader I wanted to be.
I believe in order to grow forward, we must reflect back. Looking back at that post actually made me smile. It helped me realize that even though that "plan" was never looked at again, I tried to stay true to it. I subconsciously must have had those "leadership goals" in mind as I conducted myself this year. Was I successful? I do not know...that would have to come in the form of feedback from the people I support. What I can do, is feel good in the fact that every day...I worked hard to be that kind of leader. Here are just a few of the traits from that post, that I work on daily:
-Build up others
-Be approachable and helpful
-Enhance people's strengths and help them grow in their weaknesses
-Be a constant learner who shares my learning
-Take risks and fail forward
-Do what I say and say what I do
I read that blog a few days ago, and just can't shake it. There is power in being able to go back, sit back in that moment and be able to then track that journey. I can check myself and course correct if needed. Isn't that what we want to build in our students? But, oh my gosh, isn't that what we want to build within our adults?
Imagine the impact of having your team do a similar activity at the beginning of the year? Have them sketch, write, video...somehow record their thoughts, ideas, goals, fears and excitement for the upcoming school year. They then pass it off to their trusted person, to be returned on the last day of school. I would love to see that! I would love for them to be able to track their journey over the year...see their growth. Often times, we don't see the big picture when we are in the middle of it.
I have been extremely fortunate to be able to watch many teachers' journeys over this year. I don't know if they realize their growth...but I do! So I share it with them, in the hopes that they can then reflect and see it for themselves. I hope to share another teacher's journey in my next post.
So, as the school year comes to an end...I task you with reflecting back. It has power in helping you grow forward.
Mother, teacher, TOSA, GCE Level 1 & 2, Encourager of others.
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