It's easy to have a closed, fixed mindset related to groups, organizations, and systems where you belong, contribute to, and work with, but that fixed mindset can get in the way of positivity and growth if you don't take the time now and then to acknowledge changes that have occurred.
As I think about the place where I work, I've noted significant changes this year with regard to process, priority, and effort, and I like what I see. I am noticing far more integration of modern day tools, research, and effort to teach children well. I'm also realizing that my colleagues have invested time in multiple arenas of educational research, thought, and practice, and have more than ever to share. And, with great connection, the building principal is making lots of time and effort to help people share their good work and initiatives. Hence, the school building has a dynamic, vibrant, collective feel these days and that's really inspiring.
Many in my midst are embracing greater transparency, shared leadership/teaching models, and a growth attitude. This is a contagious, positive spirit that uplifts the work we do. It seems that the sometimes less transparent, responsive, and inclusive attitudes, speak, and efforts are embraced by fewer and fewer individuals in my midst, and a "servant leadership" model appears to have been embraced by many so that people are serving each other as we develop our learning/teaching environment.
This greater open share and effort creates a much more enthusiastic, motivated, and involved staff which in turn boosts the positive spirt, effort, and collaboration of students too.
In the past, at times, opportunity was only available to some and resources and ideas were not shared with as much openness to all. Efforts like these proved to create a less than positive atmosphere where some where "in" and others were "out." To see this attitude fade delights me. Similarly old fashion top-down directives that did not welcome educator voice and choice are also going away and replaced by greater shared models of teaching and learning where individual's voices and choice are regarded well as they deepen their knowledge and develop personalized pathways to greater expertise and craft. Further at the state and national level, teacher leadership has been embraced with greater commitment, communication, and goal setting.
Old exclusive ways created disharmony and hurt rather than the new ways that create greater harmony and collective growth. As both a contributor and recipient of both old ways and new ways, I look forward to continuing to grow my efforts with greater collaboration and service. I also will continue to speak up when I see room for positive change and effort.
It will never be perfect in any system, organization, or group, but moving towards greater positive collaboration, share, and effort is a pathway that increases the potential for the good we can do teach children well.