In the past two months, I attended quite a few graduation ceremonies and celebrations. While sitting at one college graduation, I witnessed people graduating from college for the first time with their bachelor’s degrees. In the same ceremony, I witnessed people graduate with advanced degrees… masters and doctorates. I sat and reflected on the dreams sitting in that room. I wondered how the graduates thought their lives would magically change because of the new pieces of paper they had to hang on their walls.
It provoked me to think about the word commencement. Commencement means “a beginning or start”. The “feel” of graduation is one of anticipation. It evokes a sense of celebration. There are only a handful of events in life that evoke such a celebration… graduations, weddings, baby births (especially the “first” baby), perhaps promotions. When thinking about these celebrations, I wondered why we would wait until one of these special events in life to “begin”.
Each day when we wake up, we have the opportunity to start over. We have the opportunity to begin the day a bit differently with our family members in our homes. We have the opportunity to begin the day differently with our colleagues. We have the opportunity to be a better leader. We don’t have to live our lives on autopilot. Switch gears and aim to be better each day.
What will you do differently this week to be better?
HAPPY BIRTHDAY to me (One Innovative Educator). This month, One Innovative Educator, turns 2! Two years ago, I launched out and began this journey of providing leadership tips to all who would listen. Allow me a moment to reminisce.
Two years ago, I presented at a professional organization. I remember being completely overwhelmed with the interest in my session. The room was packed with elementary principals and assistant principals wanting to hear from me about how to allow data to drive instruction in their schools. I remember the session’s facilitator (a retired principal) pulled me to the side after the session and told me how “special” I was. He said the way I captivated the audience and taught on how to lead was truly phenomenal.
This experience is what helped me realize my next step in education. I knew my time as a campus administrator was coming to an end, but I didn’t have clarity on exactly what my next step be. The “teacher” in me was awakened. I decided at that time that my next step was in the direction of professional development.
I took that yearning and did two things. First, I began looking at job openings in PD. Second, I made the realization that I didn’t need to wait for someone to hire me to do the job. I could do this myself… and thus, One Innovative Educator was born. In the end, someone did hire me to provide professional development for their district. I was able to do both… work in the area I felt I was being “called” and begin my own business.
The point of this blog is to ask you… where is your future leading you? Do you have a new “calling”? If so, what can you do to put yourself on that path? Don’t wait for someone to give you an opportunity, begin to create your own future!
Paula Patterson is a Superintendent of Schools who shares practical points on leadership.