Steve Dembo, over at Teach42, has challenged other bloggers to the 30 days of blogging for the month of November. Since I just ran across this in my RSS reader, I figure I can still get in on it and maybe just add 2 days at the end. What do you think, Steve?
My biggest reason for doing this is that I’ve been away from the blogging thing for a long period of time and I figure this will give me a good start to getting back at writing, something that I do enjoy doing. My lack of writing of late hasn’t been from lack of topics, it’s been from not knowing what to do now that I have people from the local area reading my blog. You see, when you aren’t being read by anyone local, there is no pressure. It’s not that you go off on a rant or anything but you just have a freedom to express your ideas and thoughts on different topics. For me, that all changed when I became aware that there were a few local people reading what I had to say about education and then investigating what I was saying about things like Twitter and Pownce. I wasn’t sure how to handle the information since, once you put something in writing, it’s there forever and can be viewed again and again. It becomes part of your digital footprint which will be there regardless of what you try to do about it. It made me wonder if I wanted to take that chance.
Being read by local people also means that there is a chance that a disagreement will take place about what you said or how you said something or what is interpreted. It could lead to some rather interesting things happening and I wasn’t sure how I was going to continue writing, knowing that people were reading what I was saying, since much of what I write about deals with my growth as an administrator and how different situations impact my ability to be the administrator that I want to be. In fact, I was worried that my idea of what I wanted to do, when compared with what I was able to accomplish in reality, might lead people to question my abilities.
You may have noticed that I have used the past tense in the previous discussions because I realize that what I have to say regarding education indeed needs to be heard. Not because I know so much or because I have the answers. It’s because, as an administrator, I offer a perspective on education that is very hard to find. Most administrators do not put their ideas out for the world to read, digest and use. I like to think of myself of a bit of a pioneer in this regard, blazing trails so that other administrators can eventually feel comfortable sharing their ideas with the public, looking for input without the fear of being raked over the coals because of what they do and generally working with the public to create a better learning community.
It is another challenge
Being an administrator is a challenge all of its own. It doesn’t come with any type of manual and is a new set of experiences every day. It forces one to grow as a person in ways that many people cannot appreciate and requires one to remember to be humble about what one does. My constant reminder is that my main focus is on helping teachers to provide the best circumstances for learning that I can so that all children in the school have the best opportunity to improve. I must be constantly learning and re-evaluating how I go about my job and how I interact with staff, students and community. My role as the educational leader in the school is to demonstrate to everyone that learning is an everyday matter that should never stop. It allows one to grow and improve, changing from day to day. It is not a means to an end but is, in itself, the end which all should strive to pursue, continuous learning.
It’s not about me
As I accept this challenge, I go back to something that I learned a long time ago about teaching; it’s not about me! When anything I do begins to focus more on me than on the students, I must take a step back and re-evaluate what I am doing. It isn’t about me or what I want. It’s about helping students to achieve their best, using the skills and knowledge I have to help them to make connections and links, learning something new or changing what they thought, or questioning themselves or others. I’ve seen many who do not understand this idea. Their lives are, indeed, caught up in the identity they have carved out for themselves as “teacher” and they work, not for the students but for the recognition that it brings them.
I will again begin to write about education and learning. Since the focus needs to be refocused on the students, that will be my theme for the month – student centered learning. I think I already have my post for tomorrow!