Connect. Collaborate. Risk. Innovate.

Connect. Collaborate. Risk. Innovate.

Monday, 25 July 2016

Dare to Be.

Although many of us are still blissfully immersed in the warm and hazy days of summer vacation, I was reminded by a post from my cousin whose children attend school in Arizona that for some of us, school has begun. I've had conversations in the past with colleagues about the back to school dreams that seem so prevalent among many educators, from beginners to experienced. Sometimes triggered by that first "back to school" commercial, anxiety tinged dreams often stem from a desire to do our very best for our students

As someone who finds it challenging to fully embrace rest and relaxation, (I'm working on it) my mind is never far away from planning and dreaming for the year ahead. I'm fortunate to work at an amazing school, with dedicated staff and highly motivated students. But as is always the case, there is room for growth. There are things we could be doing better

So in the midst of setting some goals for the year ahead, here's what I noticed... I divided my goals into two categories: "plans" and "dreams". Somehow I differentiated between these two- "plans" being those practical, concrete goals that are safe, attainable, achievable. And "dreams" being those that are risky, abstract and perhaps more challenging to achieve. "Plans" are safe. "Dreams" are risky. 

In life, and as part of my professional journey, I've learned that if I'm avoiding a conversation with someone, it's probably a conversation that I need to have. As a school administrator, I've had to learn to have those difficult conversations. They're never easy. They're often uncomfortable. But in the end, they are important conversations that need to happen. And they often result in meaningful and important change. 

See the connection? 

By categorizing some goals as "dreams", I was giving myself permission to push them off to the side, to "avoid" them. Which likely means they are exactly the goals that I need to be working towards. 

For many of us, we allow ourselves to dwell in the safe harbour of attainable goals. But in order to support meaningful change in our schools and districts, we need to push ourselves to dream. As Greg Satell writes in a recent post, we need to "dare to be crap". Greg's reference was in connection to creativity, but I think it applies to any undertaking that requires an element of risk. 

Scary stuff. But if I want to help my amazing school community be even better, we're all going to need to "dare to be..." Dare to be creative. Dare to be innovative. Dare to do things differently. Dare to fail. Dare to try again. 

So in the midst of these hazy, warm days of summer vacation, perhaps we can all spend just a few moments in the hammock, on the dock, in the deck chair, dreaming about what we are going to "dare to be" in the year ahead...
To create successful school communities, we need to "dare to be..."

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