This weekend was a huge time of reflection for me. I believe it is important to reflect back often to see growth and respect the journey. Although this post will focus on my professional reflection, for me the line between professional and personal is a permeable one. There is a symbiotic relationship between the two. What affects one often affects the other.
When I look back at where I was a year ago, to where I am today, it's surreal. Most of the changes that have occurred are ones that only I see and feel...or so I thought. Yesterday, someone called out the changes that they have witnessed from the outside...things I didn't even see. People are like butterflies.
These changes both felt internally and seen externally were transformational. I am typically a quiet and shy introvert who thinks and feels deeply. This hasn't changed, but something has. My mindset has changed, my focus has changed...I have changed. I have realized that I can speak up about things that I am passionate about. I can share my ideas and thoughts with others and try to promote change. This is all new to me. How did the shift happen? Organically.
As with any change, there has to be a catalyst. For me, my catalyst was people. I am thankful every day that I have been blessed with amazing people that help me stretch forward. These people have been there to encourage me, support me and grow me! I don't know how I got so lucky, and I don't even want to question it, I just want to live in it. I have had the opportunity to be counseled, advised and work with some incredible educational leaders. These leaders have been so humble and open and that is why it works. I feel like I am safe to share my thinking with them and we grow ideas together. There are no "title barriers", no egos...just people sharing, stretching and growing forward about things we care about. I often feel like in these relationships, that I'm not pulling my weight. It feels like I'm always taking and don't do much of the giving. So I try my best to jump all in and give all I have, and with every interaction, there is growth (at least on my end).
I use the above butterfly quote often. I use it to help spark others to be open with each other. I am an observer of people. I always try to look for that spark in others AND share that with them. I see great in others, that they can not see for themselves. I think it is important to help others see what I see. I look for the potential in others and try to foster that.
But what I haven't shared, is what it means to me. I, like many others, am my own worst critic. I know that I need to be confident within myself and not look to the outside for validation, but then there is reality. It has taken me seeing myself through the eyes of others, to realize my own potential. It has taken others believing in me, to begin to believe in myself. People are like butterflies.
We need others. Plain and simple. We need others to show us the way. We need others to help us grow. We need others to put us in check. And we need others to survive. I've tried the isolation thing and it doesn't work. I have grown through the sharing of ideas, and this still blows my mind. I am not used to others listening to my ideas and expanding on them. It still floors me when this happens. It's amazing and it's beautiful. And I have seen the magic when we wrestle together to make it work.
I didn't learn about this in school and I just learned about this in life, and it is a game changer! This is one of the reasons I am so passionate about connecting people together. I love to watch this process and the results are always so much better than anticipated. We, as educators, need to work together for the greater good. No one person can be strong in every area, that is why we need each other to play off each others' strengths and complement each other's weaknesses.
This is also why I am so passionate about providing these same opportunities for our students. They need to be given the time and a safe place to work with others. They need to be shown how to honor and work through divergent thinking. They need to understand that we truly are better together. When we honor others' ideas, we empower them and they can begin to see how beautiful they truly are.
People are like butterflies.
Mother, teacher, TOSA, GCE Level 1 & 2, Encourager of others.
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