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Sunday, November 13, 2016

Imperfection and Collaboration

Can one who is imperfect advocate for good?

If you err, do you have the right to advocate for better?

In truth, we are all imperfect--none of us come to the table of teaching, learning, and leading knowing all things, being all things, or doing all things. Yet most of us come to that table with the desire to do the best possible work. I've met few educators who are not inspired to teach and learn well.

So how do we move forward together in light of our many individual and collective imperfections?

I think we have to honestly own our own limitations and willingness to strengthen our weaknesses. Recently I became emotional at a meeting. I do become emotional from time to time when it comes to the debates, discussions, and efforts related to teaching well. Should this emotion bar me from future discussion, debate, and effort? I don't think so, but I also believe I have to continue to be mindful of my passionate, emotional side--my history and experience in this regard differ from others, and I can't forget that as I work with others, to debate with good temper and an open mind.

Similarly, it's important to bring the same empathy, respect, and consideration to the many you work with. They too will not bring perfect selves to the table. They too will bring a variety of strengths and challenges forward as they strive to work with you and others to do the job well. The better we can support one another with both our strengths and challenges, the more we will be able to work well and effect meaningful and impactful change.

As a people we have an obligation to support each other and move one another forward in ways that matter. This is not a perfect science, but one that we can develop with good use of strategic process, collaboration, creativity, solidarity, empathy, and share.

Imperfect as I am, I will move forward with a continued commitment to working as well as I can with others to teach children well. Thoughts and ideas are always welcome with this journey in mind.