Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Marching On

March is a hard month. The month of testing. The month of spring weather teasing us and winter coldness creeping back to remind us that summer is still very far away. March is the month of not yets, almosts, and not quites. We plug along but everyone seems a little more tired, a little less engaged, and emotions tend to live a little closer to the surface.

In my world, March is that part of my story when things get rough. This is the part of the plot where things get confusing. Tears are always close and sleep is hard to find. This is the part of the story when feelings get hurt and hearts get sad.

March is a month of stamina. March will not last forever. April will be here soon. Energy will increase with the temperature and we will all be reminded of growth and rebirth.

As we march on this month, I am reminded that we all need grace.  My eyes become more open to my own defects of characters. My voice must find the words to ask for forgiveness when it is not easily offered. I am reminded that, as I live out the month of March, for some it lasts much longer than thirty-one days.

In this month, how are we supporting the kids and adults that live in a world of constant Marches? Are we a supportive presence? Is there a space we can listen a little more closely, look a little more carefully, and offer love a little deeper? How often do we stop to assess the struggle behind the blame, bad attitude, negativity, or ask what fear is driving undesirable behavior? How can we help one another better our true selves so we can move more harmoniously, with a deeper purpose and greater passion? 

Let's strive to find that path to march together.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Lessons in Leadership

This week I learned a few things about leadership. 

1. Tend to the heart first. Solutions will follow. 

2. When you see struggle, stop and listen. Really listen. Then listen some more. Only then will you understand how to proceed. 

3. You don't have to fix everything. 

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The Legacy Story

Photo by Richard Shaw

Our voices are important. We use them to tell our story, to advocate, to relate, and to empathize. Our voices have the ability to be strong and commanding, and in the next moment they can whisper and soothe. Together, our voices can join and create powerful change. Often, our voices collide in uncomfortable spaces that allow for internal reflection and growth. 

But what happens to our voices once we leave our current space? Does our voice remain or is there only a silent void where songs of life used to exist?

With these questions come the pondering of legacy. Telling our story and empowering the stories of our community are vital and at the heart of what I do as educator. I have turned a corner, though, to start assessing what will actually be changed and left behind. Am I just telling a story, or am I building a legacy to carry that story forward?

The plot of growth and progress are cemented in the stories that remain. Our students and colleagues need to be empowered to not only find their voices, but to work together to create a story that lasts and leads the way for the future. 

What are we leaving behind, and how are we teaching the next generation of kids to leave the notes of their story in the composition of our space?