TRUST: firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something
This is the one word that can make or break a relationship… all relationships! Do you trust me? Do you trust that I have your best interest at heart? Do you feel it in my core? I know that when I look in your eyes I am conveying trust. When I tell you that I honestly believe that taking a chance on change can lead to amazing things. Do you see it? Do you hear it in my voice? The confidence I have to make this decision. The grit that runs deep in my soul that will take this to a new level. Do you trust me? #truth
Years ago, I remember laughing with my colleague as we took in the advice of asking for forgiveness rather than permission. The laugh was half-hearted because we felt the true depth of not being trusted. If you had asked anyone if we were trustworthy, the answer/word spoken would have been yes, yet when we tried moving forward we were continuously met with the word/action of no. I wish I could say that I was always able to take the higher road, but I am human and found myself breaking. I looked to bid to other positions or to possibly leave the district as a whole. I wanted to find innovation the easy way in place of creating it with roadblocks at every turn. Where was my grit then? It was there, but “the innovation-squelching effect of no” was “spreading like wildfire” in ME! -Innovator’s Mindset #truth
THE POWER OF “NO” VERSUSES A CULTURE OF “YES -Innovator’s Mindset
This didn’t just end with me. The power behind no stayed with me and I found myself saying it more and more within my classroom and within my building. How did I take “no” and spread it like a virus so quickly? I had always been a YES GIRL! Yes, I can make that happen! Yes, I would love another student teacher! Yes, I can have that done in no time! Yes turned to no. I told myself it was a compliance issue, a form of respect that I simply had to follow the rules, but was it? Was I being spiteful? Was I using my restrictions and limitations as an excuse for not being innovative? Did I take this word “no” so personally that I then stepped down from committees and took on the negative attitude of… get someone else to do it? What was happening to me? I don’t suppose the onlookers saw this as clear as I do now. I love what I do too much to allow that to truly be seen. But I felt it. I felt it in my core. I am positive you could see it in my eyes. The glow wasn’t there… the drive had been stolen from me with one repeated word… NO! #truth
CHANGE CAN HAPPEN ONE PERSON AT A TIME -Innovator’s Mindset
I looked over and saw my new Assistant Superintendent Dr. Jacie Maslyk standing in the doorway. I walked over. She asked me what I would like to see happening in my classroom. I chuckled. The same half-hearted laugh I had become accustom to at “work”.
Side note: My passion for teaching had been sucked out of me and for the first time I found myself going to work each day.
Was she serious? Does she really want to know? Do I TRUST her? If I open my heart and tell her how I really feel will this be another smoke blowing session or does she truly care? Is she setting me up? Is she going to take my words and use them against me? Or does she actually see me as an “investment in place of an expenditure?”
I took a chance. I saw the trust in her eyes. She cared… I could feel it! I opened up and told her I wanted to break down the walls to learning! I wanted to go beyond the compliance that had been demanded of me. I wanted to relight the energy in my students… I WANTED TO LIGHT THE WORLD ON FIRE! Okay, so maybe those weren’t my exact words, but I promise you she felt the message.
And that is when it happened… I decided to once again ask for permission. Do you know what she said… “Why not, we wont know unless we try!” I started reading book after book. I got on Twitter and started building my #PLN that turned into my #PLF. I jumped into educational chats and found myself looking up the definition to #IMMOOC for the first time. I felt my soul on fire… I was ready to Teach Like A Pirate again. Thank you Dave Burgess!
“Our job sometimes, is simply to be the spark, help build confidence, and then get out of the way.” -Innovator’s Mindset
On that day, Dr. Jacie Maslyk was my spark! She believed in me. She trusted me. She has built a trust WITH me and in turn we have relit the spark in our children, continue to build confidence, and are getting out of the way!
Is this #truth or am I just blowing smoke? Well, a few weeks ago I was surprised by Chevron/Steelers with Week 1 Leader in the Classroom Award. This award was beyond anything that I could have imagined. It wasn’t for years of service or for having a big heart and loving my students (which has always been a given), it was for remaking learning… for being INNOVATIVE in the classroom. I was blessed to receive $1,000, a Steelers’ authentic jersey, tickets to an upcoming Steelers vs Patriots game, and front page of the Sunday paper. Beyond all of the beautiful gifts that were presented to me, the one that meant the most was when I heard “Leader of Innovation in the Classroom“. That my friends, is the biggest YES ever!
“IF WE WANT MEANINGFUL CHANGE, WE HAVE TO MAKE A CONNECTION TO THE HEART BEFORE WE CAN MAKE A CONNECTION TO THE MIND”