So this week is my 300th blog post, which is a bit staggering for me to think about honestly. I broke that number down the other day and realized that this number represents an average of 25 posts a school year for the past 14 years straight. I am left feeling super grateful that I have had the opportunity to share my thoughts on education from an international school perspective across 6 countries (heading to a 7th) and 4 continents, and after reflecting on this journey it is clear to me that the decision to hit send on my first ever blog post all those years ago was the best professional decision that I have ever made. I had fun recently reflecting on this journey and it’s no surprise that well over 200 of my posts have revolved around the themes of school culture and relationship building, which makes sense since these are the foundation of all good things in school in my opinion.
I wanted to reiterate something that I shared 6 years ago, when I hit send on my 200th post, which for me is a message that still very much rings true. I shared back then that since I began blogging in August of 2010, I have changed and grown and learned so much. I always enjoy looking back at my older posts and reflecting on the things that I want to dig deeper into, and seeing clearly that 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. You see, 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 an educator it’s the only way forward. 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, ask questions, continually learn, try to push the envelope, celebrate what’s working, and work hard to fix what’s not. The best part of my week is not the time spent thinking deeply about my topic, 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. The 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 different perspectives.
Sharing my thoughts over the years has made me a better leader and a better person, and it’s given me the courage to admit that there is so much in education that I still need to learn, and to get better at. Without a doubt, blogging has been an incredible leadership journey for me over the past 14 years…truly.
Anyway, 300 posts are a lot of posts, and more than anything I just want to say thank you to Brittany Betts and the team at The International Educator (TIE Online), and specifically TIE Blog for providing a platform for me, and for all of us to learn from one another across this international school world…what a gift! I also want to thank everyone who has taken the time to read, comment, share or provide feedback to me over the years…you have made me better in so many ways. I am grateful, thank you. Okay, time to start thinking about post number 301 so enjoy the week ahead and remember to be great for our students and good to each other.
Quotes of the Week…
Vulnerability is the birthplace of connection and the path to the feeling of worthiness. If it doesn’t feel vulnerable, the sharing is probably not constructive – Brene Brown
TED Talk –