Reality check: Through your evolution as an educator, you will find yourself at different stages of growth. Recognizing and owning that your needs and strengths are going to evolve is critical to maintaining not only your sanity, 🙂 but also your trajectory as a professional.
An easy example… Early on as a teacher, I couldn’t get enough of books,resources, websites to support my lessons and instruction. I just couldn’t wrap my mind around creating my own resources from scratch. Over time, I found myself reaching less and less for all of those amazing Scholastic books, and developing what I felt like my students needed for success. When I am supporting teachers now, I use a whole different strategy of support and creation.
While attending a conference recently, I made the comment to a favorite principal peer of mine that I had guilt for not attending of the “how to’ or “try this tomorrow” sessions, and found that my deepest thinking came now from reflection of conversations…whether they be at 3am over a laptop and laughter or over a shared dessert at lunch…those were the moments that stretch who I am and what I believe. Instead of needing to sit and get, I find myself in need of conversation and reflection. Sessions didn’t grab me and hold me like they had in the past. She responded with what may be one of the smartest lines ever, “Your growth is just in a different place.”
My growth is in a different place.
I am at a professional stage where the lens in which I view things is different. When beginning my “technically Teamann” journey, I wrote about classroom technology integration. I gave handouts, I created how to videos, I was very detailed in my processes. My growth was in a different place. Now I am in a thinking/leading/principaling stage. I need to hash out thoughts and strategies. I need perspective and thoughts from peers in my administration trenches.
Recognizing where my campus is and what our expectations are, I have to be careful not to be guilted or feel pressure from other admin about their challenges and needs., that look different than mine. I also have challenges. I also have needs. My growth is in a different place. Not an easier place. Not a harder place. There is enough stress and enough success to go around. What looks like a win to you, manifests and looks differently as a win for me. And that is ok. My growth is a different place.
Last year I isolated myself. I didn’t go anywhere, I didn’t participate in my voxer chats, or twitter chats. I silo’d myself. I focused solely on learning my building, my people, and all my Wolves. Which is ok. My growth was in a different place. Now that I feel like I have a grasp on what this principal job, somewhat can/should look like, I find myself thirsty to get back out there, to continue my growth. Taking part in George Couros’ s IMMOOC this time around is just the jump-start I need to keep pushing myself.
Know who you are. Know what you need. Reflect on where you are in your journey. Own that. And then? Get where you need to be to grow. If you’re on autopilot, or don’t feel challenged or don’t feel that you are successful, get in a different place, a place where your growth IS.