Day 67 (of 184) 14 minutes
I ran into the retired assistant superintendent who gave me my first opportunity to be a school vice principal. It was at a basketball tournament – he still coaches and still has skills.
Now, I knew I would are him because he coaches a friend of mines daughter. And I wanted my oldest girl to see a ‘high power senior girls basketball team’. Neither of us were disappointed.
But he did share a story about one of my initial ‘moments of initiative’ that made him happy of his decision to offer me a position. When I first was attending a meeting that he was chairing, he was going to take me to task for not paying attention and for being distracted by my phone (at the time an iPhone 3G – shiny and new). But before he could take me aside, he checked his email – and saw the notes that I had taken during the meeting for his review and forwarding.
It remains one of his favourite stories to share when my name comes up around him.
It is also an activity that I had to repeat each year. A new assistant superintendent needed to ‘chat’ with me about my texting. I showed how my ‘texts’ were actually notes that were being circulated with others at the meeting. For some reason, it was difficult to fathom how I could use my phone in that manner…
I shared with him my own ‘mixed emotions’ to others ‘catching up’ with my initiatives. Not just taking notes on their phones (tablets etc) but also how I was no longer the only one who would go up to a whiteboard (or keynote) and take a picture of what had been transcribed. Part of me is thrilled because others are making use of the tools they have to enhance their learning. Part of me is looking out for who is ‘overtaking’ me and trying even newer/better things – and there is such an amazing crowd of educators doing fantastic things.
He mentioned his own view that everyone has 14 minutes of education LEADership – he saw his come to an ‘end’ and hated it. Not that the leadership ends, but it wains. And the waining is the hardest part (Tom Petty Reference for those playing at home).
I liked that idea – 14 minutes to change education – a powerful metaphor. Knowing that while we stand on the shoulders of educational giants who paved the way before us, there are others who are looking to take the lead before we are ready to give it up.
But I think I’m willing to keep up the fight. My own personal mission has grown to include:
technologizaiton – the blending of technology, curriculum and education
anxiety – raising awareness to its profile and strategies to work with it
assessment – changing the way we ‘report card’ students (currently shifting to an eportfolio model at our school to provide feedback to the ministry of education)
“iLearning” (mashup of 21st C skills, personalization, etc) that is reflected in my current push/support for geniushour, Self Organized Learning Environments (SOLE), etc.
And I LOVE learning from others who share the same passions, but also those who are working in other areas of education. I can follow good ideas very well. Sharing successes leads to changes in practice that are only for the better. One of my favourite memes of late was: “Yay another worksheet! – said no student ever”.
14 minutes. The time starts ticking for everybody to be a difference maker in education at different times. Yet in my opinion the time has never been better. Are you leading a way?