I remember my boss at a previous job sharing with me during an end of year evaluation that she was so glad I was seasoned. (Translation - I was older than some of her new hires who needed more of her time - or at least not a newbie. With experience comes the ability to hit the ground running and use your previous knowledge to accelerate more quickly than a younger less experienced educator. Ever since that day, I started to really appreciate the worth of my experience. It makes growing old a lot easier! ;-)
The word that probably has come up more than any other to describe me is "enthusiasm". What I lack in "_________" fill in the blank, I make up in enthusiasm. And with that enthusiasm comes lots of energy, passion and work ethic. Enthusiasm can be contagious and bring others along, whether it be students or colleagues. This has served me well and even compensated for areas where I need to improve (like public speaking).
I've always been extremely conscious of those who struggle (wether it be because of lack of resource or lack of skill or lack of opportunity). I suppose this is why EQUITY has become an area of interest for me. I was more interested in working with students who came from poverty than those from more affluent families and students who struggled academically than those in honors classes. At one lucky point in my career, a colleague noticed my commitment and success in getting girls involved in high tech courses and career and invited me to join the team from Vermont Institute of Science, Math, and Technology as a teacher leader. My first day on the job she gave me a set of business cards with my name on them and the title Technology and Equity Specialist. Yikes... I never considered myself as a specialist! But she assured me that experience, interest, and abilities to see what others overlooked earned me those credentials, and within weeks I was attending conferences and workshops that provided me with amazing opportunities to dig deeper into all types of equity topics and put on an equity lens in my work and collaboration with others.
It was not until recently that I started to understand and think more deeply about Creativity. Having been the mom of 3 very creative children who make their living in anything but mainstream ways, including using their creative talents in music has given me time to watch how creative minds and souls interact with the world and its constraints. This opportunity has also allowed me to reflect and see that my own approach to life resembles what I see in these creative types. I tend to look at a resource or tool and not only ask "what is this meant to be used for" but also ask what else can it be used for. This drives some people crazy, but I think its what makes my work (and life) so much fun.
Finally, I'm usually one to pick up the ball. Sometimes its hard to be in a group of people talking about what should be done, because if nobody picks up the ball, I usually will. That has thrown me into positions of leadership many times in my life. There is a saying that goes something like this "If you want something done, give it to the person who has the most to do." But that in itself does not make me a 'leader' - I think the part that makes me a leader is that part of me combined with the part of me that seems to have a need to understand how systems work and virtually fly up into the air and get a bird-eye view of systems at play, whether it be a lesson, a unit, an school wide initiative or perhaps even a global project.
Yeah! the halfway mark in completing the 30 day blogging challenge!