A new year-thinking without assumption.

Today was the first day of our “teacher week” at school. Everyone has one; I’m sure and ours is like many others. Lots of meetings and time putting up the bulletin boards and installing new touchscreen monitors (ok, so that was my classroom) and learning new procedures.

I started the new year with one last shot at teaching our new LMS. Teachers had all summer to attend a variety of sessions but being as the summer is sacred, this one was jam-packed. I’m going to boldly confess that I was worried about this one. A few of the people on my roster had been nay-sayers and I was afraid we would spend a lot of time in the “why” of this lms rather than getting through the nitty gritty. And let’s face it, when school starts in 8 days and your classroom isn’t unpacked yet, we can’t spend time on the why. Also, part of my work here is as a messenger. I don’t set policy, though I do influence it, and I do not have supervisory authority over any of my colleagues. I’m merely a coach or mentor.

Much to my surprise, my assumptions were totally squashed. The folks that I had been apprehensive about came in and got straight to work. They asked solid questions, weren’t afraid to show a little bit of vulnerability and even got excited about the possibilities. I am thrilled to see them taking to it like ducks to water. I’ve said all summer at all 7 sessions, “I don’t care if you don’t know how as long as you want to learn.” I am really looking forward to what lies ahead this year.

It really kicked me in the gut too. As someone who is an aspiring school leader, just a few short minutes taught me about the value of releasing assumptions and really building authentic relationships. If I spend time dwelling in assumptions and perceptions, real work cannot be done. As I work this year, it is critical that I work from a place of optimism and open-mindedness about PEOPLE just as I ask my people do to for TECHNOLOGY. Simple as that. I am so grateful for the lesson I learned today.

Let the wild rumpus start!

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