So this week I’m celebrating a bit of a milestone of sorts, as this is my 200th Monday Musings post. This blogging journey began over 7 years ago, and has followed me through three schools, in five different countries, across four continents, and it has literally changed my personal and professional life in immeasurable ways. Honestly, the decision to begin sharing my thoughts about all things education with my faculty, and then eventually out to the world (thank you TIE) has been the best decision I have ever made, and now It’s such a part of my routine that I don’t think I could stop even if I wanted to.
Since I began back in August of 2010, I have changed and grown and learned so, so much. I enjoy looking back at my older posts and reflecting on the things that I wanted to dig deeper into at the time, and seeing now how in some cases my thoughts around a certain issue have evolved and even in some cases, changed. If I’m being truthful though, these posts were, and still are, a selfish way of staying current with the ever changing educational landscape, and when I began as new (green and overwhelmed) Assistant Principal in Shanghai, I felt like I had so much to learn, and so much to prove. It was scary at first, and I remember being so nervous when I hit send on my first blog post to faculty, scared that people were going to disagree with me, or push back on how I viewed a particular topic in education…putting yourself out there can be scary for sure, but here’s the thing…you’re not growing if you’re not opening yourself up to critical feedback, or sharing your thoughts about your philosophy, your approach, your expertise, and your practice.
It took me a long time to open myself up in this way, and to become vulnerable and exposed on a weekly basis, but you know what, as a educator, it’s the only way forward in my opinion. We all have so much to share, and so much to say, and it’s not okay to keep it all to ourselves. We can only get better as a profession if we share with one another, and ask questions, and continually learn and try and push the envelope, and celebrate what’s working, and fixing what’s not. We talk so much about providing meaningful and timely feedback to kids, we see the benefits of self and peer assessments, and we think so much about students leading their own learning, but what about us? How much are we taking those risks like we ask of our students? Putting yourself out there is scary…sharing parts of your practice and expertise is scary…asking for feedback and opening yourself up to being uncomfortable and vulnerable is tough…but the reward so, so, so outweighs the risk.
You see, the best part of my week is not the time spent on my topic research, or the writing on Sunday mornings, it’s the responses and comments and feedback that I receive after I hit send. What I send out is nothing compared to what I get back…counter arguments, disagreements, related articles and videos, and saw sharpening feedback that always leaves me learning, and questioning, and seeing a topic from all sorts of perspectives. Sharing my thoughts over the years has made me a better leader, and it’s given me the courage to admit that there is so much in education that I still need to learn…and get better at.
Anyway, 200 posts down and so many more left to go. It still amazes me how much there is to talk about in education…I just can’t seem to find the end, and when I think do it all changes right out from under me! Maybe I’ll eventually put these into a book, or turn them into a doctoral dissertation, or maybe I’ll find a new way of sharing…who knows. What I do know however, is that sharing your thoughts, and opening yourself up to feedback, and embracing a little bit of vulnerability in your practice will only make you a better educator…I know that for a fact! Have a wonderful week everyone and remember to be great for our students and good to each other.
Quote of the Week…
To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing – Elbert Hubbard
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