Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.
This school year welcomed me with a BIG change: Right before our teacher convocation day, I interviewed for and accepted the role of Library Media Specialist at Julian Curtiss Elementary School in my district. The story behind how fast and efficiently this happened is a tale I am willing to tell over and over again, with that being said, I am now realizing the biggest change was not necessarily the change in schools or in roles per se, but rather the start of a tectonics level shift in my thinking about teaching and learning.
I used to think that if I gathered all the best thinking from what I’ve read, what I’ve listened to, and what I’ve observed and then I could mash-up and synthesize all to make even bigger changes. And these changes could catch like a wild-fire across my building, my district.
I used to think I was the change-agent to make sweeping changes in the name of innovation, grand gestures of goodness and best practices that altered the way I taught and learned, which, in my mind, led to bigger changes almost in a domino effect and spread across colleagues.
I used to think that I had such high expectations from everyone, thinking that the kind of change I’ve envisioned was rather an easy one once everyone was on board. And why were some on board, others not?
Some of these beliefs are still in me, beating like the wings of migrating birds, I am still invested in reading, listening and connecting with thinkers, colleagues, I am still relying on ever-changing best practices, and of course, expecting only the best, the most thoughtful from everyone. What’s truly shifted in me is me.
I am changing in the way that I think about my role, my place, and my contributions to my school, to my district. While I am not quieting down in voicing my beliefs, I have slowed down, become more reflective and accepting of responses to the changes I envision. I am not seeing this as defeat, or going easy, or mellowing out. Almost like a catalyst, I feel I am adapting my level of input/output based on what I observe. And that, my friends, is the biggest change for me this year.