Saturday, October 19, 2013

Substantial Share, Sharing of Substance?

Is there a difference between substantial share and sharing of substance.

I share a lot.  I love to banter and toss ideas around like a ball.  I tell my own children, "Ideas are my sport."

Yet, there's a difference between banter and substantial share, and there's a difference between substantial share meaning the size or number of shares and sharing of substance referring to the meaning and value of a share.

In my blog share, I've been writing for many audiences including myself (to cheer myself on for challenging work), my clients (families and students), my evaluators (leaders), my PLN, and every other learner out there that might profit from my error, idea, or insight.

Similarly I read and listen to the ideas and discussion of many, a diverse online and offline audience. Frankly I'm interested in the weave of ideas that permeate our world today--and I'm even more interested in those ideas that have potential for better lives and a better world.  I do believe we have work to do, and there's lots of potential for moving things forward in positive ways.  This notion has been born from my own life, a life that has profited from positive growth and change due to the efforts of many.

Recently an error that I've made is that I have felt that I had to import all of my ideas and research into my work.  Recently I tried to snowplow a big idea into a system that wasn't ready for the change.  I didn't sneak the idea in, instead I publicly and transparently researched, planned, collaborated and began the idea only to find that the idea was unwelcome and worse, criticized and scrutinized with strength forcing me to eat a huge slice of humble pie as well as to rethink my professional work and effort. Now I realize that one can research, write about, and play with big ideas without having to embed all of those ideas into current work.  Current work and big ideas can be separate at times, and your work doesn't always have to reflect all of your research and current ideas. "Practice what you preach" is a motto with integrity, but the reality is you may work in places that are not ready for the weave of your "practice" with your "preach."

This revelation, probably surprising to some, brings me a great deal of freedom for now I know that my thinking, ideas, and research can take up one thread of life while my current work can travel another thread.  When possible I'll mesh the two, but when impossible I'll write about one, and practice another until time allows the change.

This brings me a sense of direction and peace.  In class, I'll innovate, embed, and practice the new and old ideas that are welcome including reading, writing, and math workshop and social studies/science unit exploration.  And in my writing, I'll continue to research and share ideas related to optimal learning environments, pedagogy, experiences, and tools.  This is a juncture where the river divides for a time, and in a sense I am traveling both streams, and that's okay.  Our day-to-day practice, work, and living may not always match our future dreams, research, and vision.  One brings the daily sustenance while the other serves as the light that leads us forward.

Thanks to my PLN near and far for sharing this important positive step in my teaching and learning life. As always, your thoughts are welcome.