This week I am not teaching. I’m devoting my time to new projects that involve bringing diverse people and thoughts together.
I’m trying to balance reading, writing, communicating and being present for my family. The more I delve into these topics, the more I see the constant cross over between the areas. This is how I chose to make my path, by focusing heavily on these related skills.
Leadership, Education and parenting are how I move forward in this world. All of these areas have one thing in common. They are all built on relationships-on the people in our lives. It is exciting, motivating, never the same, exhausting, and inspiring all at once.
I have been devoting a great deal of time this month studying leadership. Through books like Brenee Brown’s Dare to Lead, given to me by a dear friend and coworker who sees me as a whole and yet a work in progress. Through a podcast The Learning Leader (I love that title), suggested by another old friend who has seen my life arc from the stay at home mom leadership in our little mom’s support group to starting state wide initiatives and cheering me on. I’ve reflected on my skills, done a gut check on my values and done a small celebration while planning my next steps.
With that leadership project comes deep reflection on my education philosophy and the opportunity to share it with others. I’ve found myself in a place where I can share, learn alongside and challenge others to think about their philosophy and their path forward. I’m reflecting on how educators are leaders to their students, to their peers, to the parents in their communities and often to their administration and local leaders. Empowered educational leaders are thinkers who seek to always improve and move forward.
Parents are leaders in the most fundamental ways. Children are always learning-it is not contained to the classroom. Parents create an environment and children learn from it. It can be intentional or not; usually it is a combination of both. If we are intentional we are driven to move our children forward, to make sure they do not miss opportunities, but live a well balanced life.
There is so much crossover between being a leader, an educator, and a parent. We are thinkers. We ask the tough questions, lift others up, create space for others to shine. We gather resources, we attempt to be effective communicators. We assure access, equity and enforce rules of engagement. We don’t ask others to do what we wouldn’t do ourselves. We model vulnerability and strength on a daily basis. It is all about relationships. It is everything, though the best make it seem like nothing. I am a learning leader and I wouldn’t have it any other way.