Day 161 (of 183) in 5 years…
May 24…. “5 years” – remembering my dad when asked “where do I see myself in five years”.
I admittedly have a unique perspective of “where I want to be & what I want to do” in education. Specifically, when my Principal father passed away in my grade 12 year…..things changed (and yep – still think about him). My own journey through education has been heavily influenced by his own “disruptions” along the way. He radically brought in radiation devices (aka microwaves) into the Foods Room and glorified typewriters (aka computers) into a “lab” (though more popularly referred to as “Jim’s Arcade”). I’m proud of my 100’ ethernet cable that led to a wireless hub being permitted in my classroom and faking a presentation falling apart to show the board of trustees how students could use an ipod touch and portable projector to share what our learners do (10 years ago from this post….just saying….when I had class set of laptops….).
But my dad passed away on this date at the age of 48….so when my superintendent asked the common yearly question “where do you see yourself in five years”…..it inwardly became awkward because in 5 years I will be….48….
Five years AGO, I did not think I would be in the North-Okanagan Shuswap…..and five years from now…..I’ll be older than my father ever was. I’ve received “thumbs ups” from those that knew him over some of the pushes I’ve done in education. I’ve received frowny faces from some that also would not have understood what my dad did ‘back in the day’. Give some kids different chances? You bet – growing up in the shadow of the Pattullo bridge (google it) definitely tainted his teachers views of him and his family because of where he lived. Try new shiny tools? Absolutely. Make relationships with…..yep – he even was named an honourary chief (be mindful of the times) by one of the neighbourhood nations….because it’s all about relationships.
It’s definitely been a reason why I have a ‘sometimes different’ perspective to the world of education. I love being a school principal and love talking about educational theory. I like taking risks and trying new ideas (evolved into Geniushour, SOLEs, etc) and seeing others do the same and experiment to make a difference in someones learning journey. And I think about others who have taken risks, such as an inspirational teacher we lost this year https://technolandy.wordpress.com/2016/01/03/day-72-of-184-______-in-memory-of-joe_bower-legacyofjoebower/ whose message continues to inspire us to do better each day.
I’ve been told I “don’t get rattled” about much of my job. If report cards are late….or have to be redone….not a big deal. No matter what…there’s always tomorrow to do it all over again. There’s always something bigger that can happen….. Now, when big deals happen, I act very quickly and appropriately – I’ve learned through some tough lessons.
The profession is always filled with mixed messages. I know at times my learning community will be mad at me….they will also like me – it’s a weird profession when you know when you ‘move on’ some will be sad….and some happy! (but my favourite in the years after my dad passed was hearing from someone who honestly thought the L in LSS stood for Landy……not the community we lived in…! Kind words.) As for my career, I know I’ll get good phone calls and bad phone calls – more and more based on ‘right fit at right time’ as opposed to ‘can do the job’….and I’m intrigued to see where my journey will take me and my family……
But….five years from now. I’m not even sure what to hope for. I will be striving to make each year better for my entire learning community. I will continue to be learning and sharing. I hope to inspire my own kids the same as my dad inspired me: don’t be satisfied with what is….look to what might be.