LIVE 2 LEAD
As often happens in life, synchronicity and coincidence just happened to fly through my world and dance together today. I was asked to contribute an opening blog post for Live2Lead by my good friend Umair. First of all, that was quite an honor! Not to mention pressure. Secondly, feeling the typical March heaviness that I never remember until part way through each March when I am wondering why I feel so drained and heavy, and it occurs to me, “Oh yeah, the March Blues/Blahs are here.” Last week was that moment of recollection. So I haven’t really been feeling much like Living2DoAnything! But tonight was a little different.
I am an Assistant Principal at a Middle School. I have been at this school longer than I have “been” nearly anywhere, except alive. I student taught at CMS in 1978 and haven’t left. This year, my fellow Assistant Principal and I have been in charge of the Professional Development for the faculty. We have been reading the book Teach Like a Champion. We have worked very hard to make what we ask teachers to do for this Professional Learning count and be worthwhile. We have planned, talked, argued, researched, and talked a lot more to create learning experiences that teachers can appreciate and take back to their classrooms. We have had some true successes. We have seen growth in instruction and heard professional conversations occurring related to the strategies provided in this book. We have been appreciated for honoring our colleagues’ time, professionalism, knowledge, and expertise. This has been the best part of this leadership year. This is what I Live2Do ~ Live2Lead!
Tonight, I had planned a tweetchat for those folks willing to give it a shot. It was an option for opting out of attending a faculty meeting. I figured folks could be at home, relaxing, in pjs with a choice beverage, slouching. I wasn’t sure how many would take me up on the tweetchat offer but I thought it would be fun. About 7 folks decided they would join in and I gave some instructions throughout the week about how to “do a tweetchat.” Many didn’t even have a twitter account! I thought that at least they were willing and they might learn something valuable about twitter. At the last minute as is customary in most work settings, several more folks decided they wanted to join in. In all, I think we had about 12-13 teachers.
I had a list of 10 questions on a word document so that I could easily cut and paste them for speed. Several teachers arrived at the tweetchat before I did and had begun to interact and “play” with the “TweetChat” program. I was encouraged by their willingness to play and interact on their own. I began addressing each one and answering last minute questions. When I began sending the questions, I fleetingly thought they might not address the questions but go on just interacting. Boy was I wrong! Answers, ideas, information, resources, more questions, interactions between and among folks were flying across my screen! All from people who had NEVER done a tweetchat before! I was stunned! They were being creative with abbreviations (these are teachers after all who have plenty to share about everything). They were retweeting, replying, helping each other and clearly enjoying themselves. It is still giving me goosebumps.
I loved every minute of it! I was afraid I was going to be twitterjailed for too many tweets and RTs. Luckily, I was able to skirt the jail sentence, this time. I was so energized by the time the hour was up I forgot it was March and that I was drained! We didn’t get to all of the questions which I think is a good thing because everyone had so many good ideas, interesting thoughts and experiences to share we didn’t need the guidance of all 10 questions. Everyone had a different nugget they took away from the tweetchat and everyone had a great time and learned a new tool.
I Live2Lead because I work with some courageous and creative colleagues who bring their open hearts and minds every day to work with some “skinned-raw” adolescents. I Live2Lead to scatter their path of teaching with some soft spots and rose petals making that daily journey easier, provide them with a smattering of fairy-dust-magic and light to uncover a smile. I Live2Lead because my life is their life and their life is my life; together we weave a rich and marvelous tapestry of shared experiences. I Live2Lead to provide unique and enriching professional experiences that will put tools in their toolboxes, improve their instruction, and benefit students’ achievement as well as create a climate and culture where learning and taking intellectual risks are not the exception, but the rule for students AND adults. Just simply: I Live2Lead.