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Thursday, February 09, 2017

Assessing Interest and Drive: Developing Collective Genius

We are all interested in and driven by a diversity of experiences and events. It's always interesting to think about the tasks that you readily complete and those that find you procrastinating.

Learning Design and Leadership
I readily create learning activities, events, projects, and experiences with and for students. I truly love the activity of trying to match learning events with student interest and drive. For example, yesterday I asked a child to learn something that I thought would totally engage him. When I suggested the event, his smile spread from ear to ear. I knew it! I also know that if this child masters that learning, he will have such power over his future learning and the wonderful gifts he will bring to the world. If I can empower, engage, and educate a child well, I'm engaged--that's what I really like to do.

Diagnosis and Problem Solving
I am not so excited about committee work that doesn't involve as much direct response or care for children. Even though some of the committee work I do results in good efforts with regard to education, it's not the kind of work that drives me or that I'm eager to do. I prefer the more intimate, diagnostic, and problem solving work that's involved with creating vibrant classrooms, schools, and systems that serve children well.

Analyses, Writing, and Share
I am eager to write too. I enjoy the daily analysis of events and opportunities all around me. I like to think about what works and what doesn't with regard to teaching/learning efforts. I enjoy the analyses that works to lead my work forward. Similarly I enjoy vision and goal setting--looking out ahead of what we can do and be to better our lives, schools, and communities. I see potential almost everywhere I look. Similarly I enjoy the deep, thoughtful work that's involved in making vision and goals come alive if the work is authentic, collaborative, and focused on meaningful efforts and result.

Deep, Authentic Study and Work
I'm not a big fan of superficial work--work that's done to check off a box, appease an authority, or look good. Instead I truly like the deep work, and I do enjoy pleasing when the people I'm pleasing are those that inspire the best of us with deep respect, care, and investment in what we can do together to make things better.

Steering Clear of Dreadful Events
This year I signed on to a number of tasks that I dread. I didn't know that I'd dread these tasks as I thought the efforts would be good learning efforts, and ones that might propel my own work in those directions. I must say I've learned a lot from signing on to those events, and I've also learned that they are not the kind of events I want to get involved with in the future.

Choosing Professional Endeavor Well
Events like adjunct college teaching, collegial projects, research of relevant topics/issues, student-teacher project work/learning, creating inviting learning environments, analysis/writing, and vision/goal setting call me--I'm eager to complete tasks like that.

Knowing who you are and what calls you helps you to set the path in ways that inspire the good work and contribution you're able to give. It's important to think about those paths as you move forward in your career and life. It is similarly important that we recognize our strengths and the strengths of others in the school community. The more we can work together to maximize our collective genius by acknowledging the learning and events that inspire and motivate us, the more we can build dynamic teaching/learning organizations.