Every summer is brim with opportunities. Having time for yourself, time with the family and friends, time to learn, and explore or time to simply do nothing - just breathe.
I always look forward to those summer weeks, not only to recharge my physical batteries but to reflect on what I’ve been doing all year long, as a person, an educator, and mom - and take stock of where I am and where I want to go next.
This year has been different for all of us.
Globally - this has been the year COVID-19 crept up on us and paralyzed certain parts of our lives and surprisingly gave new impetus to others.
I have never felt this much urgency to share and help people learn and grow.
I have always been quite comfortable with my school and IBEN work, feeling that what I do - helping colleagues, children, and parents in school, online, and sharing on Twitter and Facebook, was enough when it comes to my responsibility towards our learning community.
A lot of what I did and how I helped elevate teaching and learning had a very brief and limited exposure and ended up on my Drive.
In March, when we went into campus closure and distance learning, I felt a poke (don’t laugh, but I felt it was like the universe was shaking me and others up to wake up). I started reflecting on how I had been helping my community and other learners and what my values and actions spoke about me and what I stood for. Again, I felt like my stretch zone wasn’t as big of a stretch zone as I originally thought and I was predominantly operating from a place of comfort and confidence - teaching others what I was confident in, promoting practice I well knew myself, learning about things I was interested in, giving back - how and when I felt like it.
It clearly was not enough.
It is not enough.
I started asking myself…
What is my WHY?
What are my values?
What drives me?
What can I do?
How should I act?
From that deep and long reflection - came clarity.
What does it mean for my summer plans? Everything!
We live in a time of conflicting paradigms and discourses. We live in a dichotomous world.
It’s a time and world of tumultuous change and yet we are complacent.
It’s a time when “business as usual” no longer applies yet we cling to “that how we’ve always done it-s” and look at change with fear and apprehension.
It’s a time of “focus on yourself”, “brand yourself”, “be yourself”. Well, how about focusing on other people, shouting out to other people, and understanding and celebrating other people?
This summer I take the first step…
I choose to show up for other people.
I choose to shout out to and for other people.
I choose to learn to understand and celebrate other people.
And as I write this I think to myself, but you have always done this...but have I really?!
Operating from a place of comfort, with what you are learning and how and what you do with that learning, in international schools, that are by default full of acceptance, is operating in a bubble, not in the real world. It's operating from a place of great (perhaps undeserved) privilege - taking things for granted.
I call out to my fellow educators - join me in inquiry.
I call out to life long learners - ACT on what you’ve learned!
I call out to colleagues in need - I’m here for you! I got you!
I’m curious what are your SUMMER 2020 plans?
It’s not like we’re going anywhere so we may as well start a MOVEMENT.