Five months. That’s how long it’s been since I blogged. I’m not completely sure why it’s been so long, but it most likely has to do with a slight case of feeling uninspired. The spark that usually drives me to share my reflections has recently diminished. Last month, I was feeling disappointed and discouraged, even frustrated by the process it took to secure a teaching position, but as hard as it can be to stay positive during these times, we need to welcome setbacks as an opportunity for reflection and growth. I did that, and over the past couple of weeks, I feel that spark returning.
In order to secure a teaching position, I had to interview. This wasn’t unexpected or surprising. However, what I didn’t expect were the types of questions posed. Upon reflection, I realized that I have become somewhat naive in thinking at least some questions would be devoted to my passion for innovation, global competencies, STEM, and everything that fits under this umbrella. After all, for the past four years, my team has worked with thousands of educators, facilitating hundreds of sessions to build capacity and strengthen competencies in these areas. Moreover, these sessions were often well attended by administrators, even targeted toward this audience.
What I now realize is that in the moment, school leaders may have the best of intentions to return to their schools, inspired by the message and eager to make change, but are grounded by what they see as their reality. Rather than leap forward with resolve and a conviction for change, innovation stifles.
Anyway, I wasn’t thinking about any of this at the time, so needless to say, I walked into my interviews feeling confident, but the questions I was asked highlight my point.
With the exception of my first interview, I felt that I was only being evaluated on my ability to deliver token phrases and buzz words related to language and math programming. I don’t question the importance of a solid language and mathematics program, but I equally don’t question the importance of providing a foundation that thrives on meeting the needs of 21st century learners. Regurgitation of memorized talking points about curriculum programming is akin to designing an airplane without considering the wings to help it soar.
Asking only these types of questions in an interview will only produce the same results. When you’re doing the same thing that you’ve always been doing, and expecting different results, the result rarely produces the desired outcome. There’s no question that the great work we do as educators needs to be done within the space between two bookends, but this doesn’t mean that there’s no room for innovation. If we’re going to design the redefining learning experiences our students deserve, we may need to adjust priorities, but this isn’t going to happen if we can’t move beyond the thinking that binds us to the past.
Here I am today feeling invigorated, creative, and eager to take on my new role at Bonaventure Meadows. I heard a couple of times recently that you’re meant to be where you end up. If I can’t put a ding in the universe, I’m hoping I can make a ding at my new school.
Go Magic! Let’s do this! 🙂