Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Warning: Idealist Crossing

Are you an idealist? Are you led by visions of excellence and a job well done? Do you sometimes drive your colleagues and classmates crazy with new ideas and possibilities?

What prompts your idealism? What makes you crave change and growth?

Since my earliest days, I've been an idealist. As a young child I would "draw my dreams" every day, and my dad would preach, "a little for today and a little for tomorrow." I have also always been keenly aware of aspects of life that hurt, harm, and hinder, and the way that purposeful change can transform those events into life enhancing, positive paths of living.

When I look into my school buildings and community, I see so many wonderful events and actions at play--that's why I've stayed in my system so long; it's truly a school system that makes a difference in students' lives. Yet, as I see promise, I also see room for revision and growth--we all know there's always an opportunity for betterment and improvement, thus the idealist.

I've often commented that cynics are disguised idealists. Their cynism is a protective covering that guards them from disappointment and discouragement when ideals aren't met. Also, the idealist who is not a good communicator or collaborator has less of a chance of effecting positive change, growth or ideals realized. So it's possible that cynics are idealists lacking optimal communication/collaboration skills.

How do you nurture ideals in your organization, school or classroom? Is there a role for ideals in the place that you work? What is the best balance for today's efforts, tomorrow's goals and future ideals?  I'm ready to learn more about this topic, and look forward to your thoughts.