Connect. Collaborate. Risk. Innovate.

Connect. Collaborate. Risk. Innovate.

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Root to Rise

Finding my edge, on the summit of Mount Baker. 
The one constant in my life is change
As such, I've become accustomed to that somewhat uncomfortable feeling that tells me that I'm on the edge of new understanding. I've learned to welcome that feeling, even to seek it out. Having experienced the other side, the amazing growth and insight that comes from pushing past that discomfort, I've gradually learned to embrace change.

But at the same time, I've also come to understand that I can't impose my eagerness, my desire to move forward, onto others. I can share my vision, my passion and my story, but ultimately, individuals must discover their own unique path forward. However, as a school leader, I can help to support the members of my school community as they find that path. And in the same way, I can continue to seek out their support as I move forward in my own learning.

The Innovator's Mindset by George Couros
In yoga, there is a saying, we must root to rise. Essentially, this is a reminder that we need to first ground ourselves in the present, in order to move forwards. Our "roots" provide the stability, the essential foundation that all potential growth results from. If we remain fixated in the past, or alternatively, are only focussed on the future, we lack the stability to initiate meaningful, sustained growth. In yoga, as in life, it's about finding a balance...

Translated into an educational context, rooting to rise suggests that before we are able to integrate new, potentially transformative instructional and assessment practices, we must first have an understanding of where we are now. I am privileged to have been welcomed into a school community that has a rich history, with many valued traditions. As such, it is essential that I take the time to understand the context, the culture, the story of where I am now in order to best support my staff and my students as we move forward into new learning, and new understanding.

Let me just close by stating the obvious, which is that I haven't come to this understanding on my own. As I've made note of in previous posts, I have many teachers in my life. Wise, patient people who generously listen, advise and support me as I continue to make my way on this journey. My hope is that I am able to repay this kindness by providing the same gentle guidance for others.

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