Friday, August 9, 2013

Believing in Bravery

(Photo by Richard Shaw)

The opposite of bravery is not cowardice but conformity.
-Robert Anthony

As I started to build my PLN this summer I was introduced to so many educators that have stunningly inspiring blogs.  I have been following a few people regularly and jumping into others when I see posts linked on twitter.  Since becoming a part of the School Administrator Virtual Leadership Program (#SAVMP) I have discovered some of the most moving, heartfelt blog posts I have ever read. Several times I have been moved to tears while reading personal descriptions and reflections on life and leadership.

I have also begun blogging this summer, and it has been an emotional experience for me. As an English major in college, and language arts teacher, I am no stranger to writing. I have always felt very comfortable expressing myself through my writing, though I have never, ever, liked sharing my writing. Aside from being a seriously lazy proofreader, I write my heart on my sleeve. My writing is more honest and raw than what I am able to verbalize in conversations, which makes it nerve racking to share. The saving grace is that I have gotten an overwhelmingly positive response, and every person that can relate or finds meaning in my writing is a little reminder that it is okay to expose myself in this way. 

Our second point of discussion for #SAVMP focuses on our philosophy.  My personal reflections of my philosophy have been on my mind lately, and I blogged about this recentlyGeorge Couros asked us to consider what Simon Sinek says about leadership.  I discovered Sinek's talk earlier in the summer and found it to be extremely powerful in reflecting about my own why. Sinek's idea of the Golden Circle and why we lead is a question I pondered when trying to understand my own passions this summer.

Today as I was wondering around Twitter, I came upon the blog post Be Brave by Matt Gomez.  This concept, this one rule, perfectly encompasses what I strived to do this summer.  It is also exactly what I hope to transfer to my students this year.  Really, I hope my students, colleagues, and I can all be brave together.  This year, more than any other, I need bravery both personally and professionally.  This year, I will ask my students and our staff to push themselves beyond what they know, moving from where we are comfortable into the unknown.  I will ask them to share themselves, to expose their practice and reflect deeply on the work we do together.  It is very exciting work, but let's be honest, it is scary to be exposed.  

If we are to be courageous, we must first be brave.

So this year my philosophical shift will be cemented in the one rule Matt has for his kindergarteners: Be Brave.  Be brave in new situations, be brave enough to try new things. Be brave in believing in myself and trusting other.  When I am wrong and need to pivot or change, I will be brave. I will try to be brave even when I am fearful.  

What does bravery look like for you? How will you lead those around you to be brave?

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