For my first official COETAIL post, I’ve decided on a risky move – comment on the writing of one of the people I admire the most in this field, Dana Watts. It’s risky for many reasons, but most importantly because I’m not a writer (my sister got those genes), and I really want to get this one right!
On her post entitled Leading to Learn, Dana approaches this whirlwind we are all experiencing. As teachers, as learners, as teachers of learners who expect all these great things from us, whose apple of appreciation we strive to find on our desks one day, if ever. And she does this through poetry. Pure genius. I should also mention that I had the privilege of being in attendance during this keynote at the Learning 2.0 Conference in Beijing. Dana was brilliant. Her words, although few, were powerful… and it made us all think, and reflect, and hope.
I thought about my journey as an educator and how lucky I am to do what I do, especially in these fast-changing times. For 10 years I’ve enjoyed the triumphs and hardships of being an educator, and I have no regrets. Dana writes “We are leading to learn, because we believe in it”, and that has never been truer than now. Our role as teachers 10, 5, even 2 years ago, has been redefined. We work hard to adapt to the times because we believe in the importance of our role. We take risks, and we succeed, and we fail.
I reflected on my daily role in students’ lives. We are leaders of young minds. We lead others to learn on a daily basis. But we are still human. I remember my teachers from school, and I have no doubt that some students will remember me when they are grownups. And it’s up to me what they will remember. It’s a huge responsibility but we take it on. “Because this is personal – Because I believe in the learning – and continuing to learn even when it hurts”.
And most importantly, Dana’s words made me hope. I hope that in fact we are creating the schools we want for our learners, and that “we are not paralyzed by the insecurity of change”. I hope that we strive to lead our own learning in this ever changing world. And for myself, I hope that I think more about my successes rather than failures, especially when the changes hurt. I hope that I can be the leader of that change.
Thank you for your words Dana, they are my new creed.