Friday, March 3, 2017

Building for Generations

 A recent blog post from @mattarend, Principal of Sigler Elementary in my District (Plano ISD) really sparked some thoughts about this profession we're in.  Below is a quote from a S'more he recently sent to his staff:

Protect This House - #IWill

Our theme at Sigler Elementary this year is "Protect This House".

If you were to look up the word "house" in the dictionary, it is defined as: a building for human habitation, especially one that is lived in by a family or small group of people.  Sigler Elementary is our building and you are a part of our family. Just as you take precautions to protect your home, this year we ask students, staff and families to do their part to "Protect This House". In order to successfully "Protect This House" each of us needs to know our role and agree to successfully fulfill that role, daily. Anything short is letting our students down. We do not have time for that. In order to ensure we all do our part to "Protect This House" we will use the hashtag #IWill as our rally cry and statement to empower and communicate exactly what each of us will be doing to ensure the success of our "house" this year and more importantly the success of the small group of people that live in our house...OUR STUDENTS.  #IWill

I shared with Matt that in Biblical terms a house referred to a lineage of a people group - their legacy, such as the house of David.  It is a long line from which Jesus Himself descended.  It is so clear to me that we're not just reaching a random child here and there throughout the years.  We are building for the generations.  We are building a house made up of children who will grow up to lead, inspire, heal, innovate, plant, grow, and build - and the pattern will continue down through the years.  Just thinking today on the day before Spring Break begins, what an honor to be part of the construction of the future.  

Monday, February 27, 2017

I haven't posted a blog since May.  The well was dry and I think I got a little miffed that it didn't appear anyone was reading my blog.  There's a payoff for everything we do and I began to feel this had no payoff. So - here I am in February ready to start putting my thoughts out there - payoff or not.  Actually, better said, the payoff is my own satisfaction in putting thoughts to words and seeing what evolves.

So, I've been on a personal journey of discovery this year.  My personal life has many challenges right now - still learning the nuances of a very challenging job, the care of my 93 year old mother, a - shall we say - difficult relationship with my sister with whom I share the job of caring for mother, a couple of physical challenges that I could totally overcome if I would just determine to do so - you know - life!  But here's what I'm learning with the help of my good friend Brene Brown.  (She actually doesn't know me at all, but I feel so connected to her that I feel we know each other.)

Brene is a social worker who spent many years researching shame.  I've just about decided that shame is pretty much the root of all the things that sabotage our success.  I stumble my way through a meeting or professional development presentation and feel shame - and it's really shame that causes the stumbling.  Brene says that shame gets us in one of two ways:  either - "you're not ___ enough" or if you can get past that one, it's "who do you think you are?"  I think that pretty much covers every scenario you can think of.

Marianne Williamson said, "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.  Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.  It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.  We ask ourselves, “Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?”  Actually, who are you not to be?  You are a child of God.  Your playing small doesn’t serve the world.  There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.  We are all meant to shine, as children do.  We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.  It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.  And as we let our own light shine, we subconsciously give other people permission to do the same.  As we’re liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

In The Gifts of Imperfection Brene states that vulnerability is our most accurate measure of courage.  We shrink back, we hide, we dissemble, we dramatize . . . all so we won't have to be vulnerable.  I know I've grown more cautious about who I am vulnerable with. Before I share my story with someone I need to know if they have earned the right to hear my story, and if they can bear the weight of my story.  You know - not everyone can. The desperateness of their own story can prevent people from being able to bear mine.  But I do know this, "Loving ourselves through the process of owning our story is the bravest thing we'll ever do."  (Brene again.)  

I'm nearing the end of year two as an AP and some things are easier - much easier.  Some things still trip me up.  Some things I flat out miss because I'm not paying close enough attention.  But it's okay because I'm determined to not judge my success or failures, my ups or downs, through the filter of my own worthiness, but rather understanding that, as Roosevelt said, I may fail while daring greatly, but at least I'm daring. So - back to blogging and Twitter and to a fresh perspective - whether anyone else reads it or not.