|“I am personally convinced that one person can be a change catalyst, a “transformer” in any situation, any organization. Such an individual is yeast that can leaven an entire loaf. It requires vision, initiative, patience, respect, persistence, courage, and faith to be a transforming leader.”|
|Stephen R. Covey quote|
Over the past few months I have been challenged to think outside the box, explore areas of personally uncharted territories and allow myself to open up to the world and expose myself to colleagues I’ve never met. Challenging?… yes… Rewarding? I would say so…. scary and at times overwhelming…. ABSOLUTELY.
However I have learned throughout this time that no matter how small and tiny a voice may be, if you let yourself fall into the hands of a collective army, someone will catch you. Someone will find you when your lost and insecure and most importantly someone will listen.
I’ve always considered myself technologically savvy. Able to fix a glitch, work my way through a myriad of software titles and of course help someone in a pinch when an “unexpected error” has occurred. I would even go so far as to say when I was in the classroom I embraced technology and encouraged even the youngest students to try something new. But I will admit, that no matter how savvy I thought I was this class taught me one very big lesson. Vision and initiative are easy but trust and faith can prove to be far more difficult.
This past term has pushed me to a place I wasn’t prepared to necessarily go. I knew the course content would be great, the instructor highly recommended but the one thing that threw everything for a loop was becoming “connected”. I always thought a connected teacher was just “in-touch” with trends and the changing times within the education realm. What I wasn’t prepared for was the true meaning of becoming a connected teacher. The reaching out, letting go, and allowing myself to be exposed to a network of people I had never met, to discuss topics with those whom I’d most likely never see and most of all try to speak what was on my mind without fear or judgement from those masked faces.
I’m still not sure after all of these weeks that I was truly able to embrace the power of this collective army. But what I can say is that I do have not only a new awareness but a better appreciation for just how important and valuable it is to be connected…. to be united with those whom are on this journey too.
I took great pleasure in reading the thoughts of others. I cheered them on and applauded their bravery with each post I read. But for me personally, this journey was one of self discovery in learning that as much as I would love to open myself up… free of judgement, free of worry, free of fear like my colleagues…. I struggled. Posting to my blog was sometimes like pulling out teeth! The words were never quite right, the message I wanted to convey never quite as clear. Who knew that just opening up my thoughts would be such a huge task!!
Not to mention the connectedness of becoming a part of “Twitter Nation”! Someone always seems to have a great resource, something noteworthy to share while all I could think about some days would be “Why would anyone care about what I was doing for the last hour??”
With all of that said, I will still stand by my initial comment that this class WAS rewarding. It proved to me the resources to become a connected teacher. For those days when I just couldn’t find what to say…. I was able to connect with my colleagues and build my ideas based off of something they shared. Look at their experiences and recognize that in many cases I wasn’t alone.
So finally, I can admit that I have succumbed to the power of those “mystery colleagues”. I see the power in not necessarily posting , blogging and reaching out each day but recognizing that if I need too…. if I need a little inspiration… that I can can find it. I may not be ready to fully open myself to others (which surprisingly I think many understand) but there are those around me whom don’t mind rising to the top , demonstrating a tremendous amount of courage and becoming according to Covey a “transforming leader”. To those colleagues and mentors “THANK YOU!!”
This course has provided me with an instant base for becoming connected to those colleagues. Strategies to carry on within this network and most importantly the courage to explore my own voice (if only for a moment) But for now, I am o.k. following the pack. Learning from others and recognizing my personal limitations. For it is because of this class that I hope to continue to push myself and carrying on in as a member of this connected environment.
Thanks for this opportunity Alec!
You can see my final summary of learning collection here…