Sunday, February 24, 2013

151st Post - There is No Shortcut.

There is no easy way to say this so I'll just say it, "There is no shortcut". Whether it be parenting, teaching, administrating, leading, coaching...whatever you've signed up for, if you want success, it's a 'both feet' commitment. If you want better, than it's got to be a giant leap off of that frightening or exhilarating cliff. Anything less is a disservice to the young souls who enter our doors on a daily basis.
These youngsters - and yes 18 year olds are still youngsters! often start their school years with hope, expectation, and trust. Of course there are those who come with a quiet desperation that this 'school thing' will provide a safe place, a place of acceptance, a reprieve from chaos.
This past week the video "To This Day" written by Shane Koyzcan has been making its way around the internet. The almost seven minutes are well worth watching. I suspect the majority of us can relate in some way to the message.

It is a heartfelt plea to pay attention.
To be aware.
It's not all pretty, nice, and kind in our buildings.

Our own school experiences impacted us. Some of us got through unscathed, others not so much. If it happened to us; if it's still happening now, we need to pay attention. There is no quick fix. There is no shortcut to 'better'.

This is going to take a heart change. It's about relationships! It really is. And relationship building takes time and comes at a cost.

Because in every relationship there is a risk of rejection. Rejection hurts. 
In my early career as a music specialist, I had many opportunities to connect with students; more importantly students connected with each other.

Music brought a calm to young hearts. 
Music forced us to pay attention, to be mindful. 
Together we created beauty 

- ok maybe not in Beginning Band...that wasn't always beautiful.
Decades later, we have some hard evidence to prove the importance of what many teachers always knew;
we must slow down, 
we must pay attention to things around us, 
we must listen and feel,
WE must be present.
Education can not just be about the peripheral, it has to acknowledge, no, it has to connect to the internal. I am growing weary of the never ending discussion about what kind of devices we should buy/use? What programs we simply have to implement? This one works! This one doesn't!  THIS way is the BEST... Oh the judgement. Oh how we still protect our teaching silo. To what end? 
What matters is how we connect our students with their inner strengths.
What matters is that we know our students and use that knowing to ensure their needs are being met.
As I walk through the halls of my schools, and hear the sounds of learning; yes there is a sound and it touches my heart.

As I look into classrooms and bear witness to the engagement between teacher/student; student/student, my heart sings with gratitude.

As I witness relationships building, I have hope that we are meeting the needs of our youngsters, that trajectories can change.

We are teaching them to connect with their hearts because WE are connecting with their hearts.
Then sings my soul. Better is Possible.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

150th Post - Family Day means Nothing to me!

Our long awaited BC Family Day long weekend has arrived.


Almost everyone ~ young & oldish ~ I've talked to lately is exhausted, sick, or both. How did we ever get through February without this holiday? My plan is to do nothing that I don't want to do. No 'have to's this weekend. Speaking of 'have-to's' there certainly have been a host of those lately. In the rush of things to do, I am thankful for some time to do nothing.

That's it. Nothing more to say. In the absence of profound wisdom from me I leave you with this thought stolen from my friend TT...

Easier said than done.

Enjoy the weekend wherever you are. If you're a fellow BC'er, Happy 1st Family Day Weekend.