An opportunity to learn

If you don’t know what I do here is the abbreviated version.  I help support a teacher leadership grant in my school district.  What does really mean?  I help teacher leaders grow in their practice and give them support they need to be successful in the schools.  This is not a story about what I taught them or the PD I led. Instead this is a story about how I was inspired by the lead teachers in my district.

This year we have asked our teachers to use an activity log to document their release time as well as reflective tool for them.  This e-mail came in that said, “so it would be awesome if we heard direct feedback and/or real examples of how teachers used the log this week at our meeting Wednesday.”

As every good leader, I took this suggestion seriously.  I sat down this weekend to read through the logs and give feedback.  I expected to read simple short ideas.  I also expected that it would be a compliance check.  Instead, I read beautiful inspiring reflections.  These teachers spoke about their strengths, hopes and weaknesses.  The honesty about their role was real and powerful.  I became even more humbled to work with these leaders. The reflections became so engaging that a simple afternoon project became so much bigger.  I was so inspired by the realness of the reflections that I created my own.  In the days I have used it, I have found it invaluable.  It allowed me to reflect on my interactions with other teachers and others.

Reading the activity logs also helped me with my own practice.  I was struggling with my Wednesday PD.  I started completely wrong.  As I read a lead’s reflection on her PD, it hit me that I was planning the activities instead of asking the most important question “What skills and knowledge do I want my lead teachers to walk out with?”  Once I adjusted my focus it came together so much smoother.

Today, I visited with the e-mailer and thanked her for her e-mail.  I then told her about her impact on me.  How my practice became improved because the knowledge of the teachers in leadership.

My take-away: Every opportunity is opportunity to learn and every person has something to teach us.


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