What would happen if every time we slipped down the metaphorical staircase in one area or another, instead of rushing to shame and judgement and self-defeating thoughts, we instead allowed others to pick us up. What would happen if we dusted ourselves off and then allowed our experiences to teach us how to be better next time?
Let's do what we can to change our systems. And while we do that important work, "How might we nourish the hearts and minds of our educators?"
Yes, let's take care of our daily business. Let's make sure our leaves are healthy. But in doing so, let's not cut off the blooms. The bloomers who shine bright and make school and this profession look fun and worthwhile.
So, take a moment to uncover what might trigger those feelings of danger inside of you. And if seems reasonable to assume that you can lean into a sense of psychological safety, take a deep breath, and lean into it.
What would happen if we decided to dream a bit smaller? What if our dream was to get really curious about what was happening in our schools? What if our dream was to suspend judgement and to merely notice and wonder about the student experience? To truly talk to kids to find out what school is like for each of them? What if that curiosity and listening drove our next moves?
Perhaps we aren't utilizing our teams to their fullest capacity. Perhaps we are hyper-focused on perfecting things that are not urgent or important. Perhaps, we are assigning work to students in a way that is making our grading feel impossible. I heard a high school student say, "You know, she complains about all of the papers she has to grade and about how long it's taking her to get through all of them, and I keep thinking, 'Aren't you the one assigning these papers and setting the due dates this way?"'
Because here is the deal. The world is going to keep humbling us. If we are truly watching and listening, it should humble us. If we are truly doing work that matters deeply, that work is going to be messy, and it will humble us. So, it's not like speaking affirmations into our lives is going to make us arrogant.
So, take care of yourselves. Feel what you need to feel. And then find ways to get yourself into that beautiful space of joy and productivity this week. We need you.