Teach & Serve IV, No. 3
August 22, 2018
Our work in education ought to include work upon ourselves. How do we improve? How do we better serve? How do we ensure that our journeys match our goals? How do we grow as leaders and as people?
In some parts of the United States, school has been in session for a few weeks. In others, classes are a few days away from beginning. In still more, teacher meetings and orientations are on the cusp of getting rolling. No matter the state of starting in which you find your institution, there is no denying it: the journey is upon us.
And I wish you good luck on the journey.
Each academic session, trimester, semester and year is a journey. We find ourselves at the on ramp with, I trust, energy and enthusiasm.
Not to strain the metaphor too much, but it would benefit each of us greatly if we begin with a plan for sustaining ourselves on this journey.
That plan will have many elements to it: checklists and standards and benchmarks. We might wish to leave room for detours and challenges. They will come. Our plans should be clear and direct while leaving space for the unexpected and flexibility. They will help us along the way.
An essential element to a successful journey is craving out time for evaluation and reflection. If our plans do not give us space to review our path, check in on our progress, assess our feelings and emotions along the way, we might get where we are going (spoiler alert: the calendar pages always flip – we will get to the end of our journey) but we will not reach all the potential of the way in which we might have arrived.
Our walk through our school years is a walk of getting things done, of encountering people and places and things and serving them, responding to them, helping them. Our paths through these months is sometimes meandering, sometimes punishing, always propulsive.
What our journey can be is inward too.
It should be.
Our work in education ought to include work upon ourselves. How do we improve? How do we better serve? How do we ensure that our journeys match our goals? How do we grow as leaders and as people? Our journeys should include reflection which helps us work upon ourselves – upon our souls.
Our journeys can be more than checking things off the list, no matter how brilliantly and effectively we do that. Our journeys should be more.
Our journeys should be about getting better about learning more.
Our journeys should be about development.
Let us make them count.