Wednesday, October 07, 2020

MIstakes in the Field

 As I right my ship toward new endeavor, I am thinking about some of the errors I made during my 34-year teaching career. There were many successes, but I know it's important to focus on the errors too.

Meeting problems head on, early on

Mainly in the early years of my career and sometimes later on, rather than meeting problems head on, I would discuss those problems with others quietly using conjecture, judgement, and worry. It would have been a lot better to address those issues head on, early on to figure out what to do. Back room conversations, conjecture, and worry lead nowhere, whereas transparent, respectful confrontation and discussion of issues holds great potential. Too often I tried to solve problems on my own as well. Later in my career, I worked more with colleagues and my local union to solve problems collectively--that was better. 

Establish vision and seek incremental change

I often wanted change to happen right away, I didn't consider the strength of incremental change. In hindsight, it's good to establish a great vision, break it down into parts, and then work to achieve each section of the vision. There is great power in incremental change.

Take time out

Dreamers like me get frustrated at times, and when emotions run high, you mostly have to take time out rather than let the emotions loose. Some emotion is okay, but too much obstructs the work you want to do. 


You can't do or be all, prioritize what's most important to you. Focus on that. Chart your progress. Reflect and revise. Seek critique from trusted colleagues and others. 

Take care of yourself

You can't take care of anyone else if you don't take care of yourself.