To everything there is a season,
a time for every purpose under the sun.
This opening line from an oft-quoted section of Ecclesiastes is resonating with me at this time of the year. I’ve been away from a “regular” school district position for more than two school years and I’m slowly making the transition to the “year” as traditionally defined by the twelve calendar months. For most of my life I have defined the year as the bridging between two calendars – the school year. This “year” would have been 2013-14 as all of my educator colleagues can attest. My season as a public school employee has concluded and this new season of presenting and facilitating has brought so much satisfaction and I’m glad I’ve taken advantage of the opportunities.
As I look back on 2013, I am reminded that educators NEVER take a break! Every month has been full with opportunities to engage with colleagues and with working towards improving outcomes for their students. This has definitely been the season of presenting and facilitating the growth of colleagues with 165 days spent in the company of dedicated educators. My reflections on the year remind me that I have been fortunate to visit many new communities and experience many new things. While I’ll never revel in the joy of driving around Los Angeles, it was an eye opener to start a day there and end it on a lonely stretch of highway driving to Lloydminster. I also think I’m likely the only person to visit Yorkton and Stockton on consecutive days. From small towns in rural Alabama to even smaller towns in rural Manitoba, this year was full of learning opportunities. It was also full of positive connections made with educators striving to do more. I won’t be disingenuous and say that every interaction was positive and without challenge. I can say that every interaction was an honest one. I grew quite fond of saying “If we aren’t struggling, we aren’t trying hard enough.” I appreciated the responses that generally ensued.
With 2013 coming to a close, this “season of presenting/facilitating” will continue and expand in 2014 with the release of a number of books (more on that in my next post). I want to thank the hundreds of educators, students, parents, and community members that I’ve been fortunate to meet and wish you all the joys of this Christmas season. However you choose to celebrate, or take advantage of the break, please also take a moment to thank someone who has been significant to you. Thanks for reading, and we’ll connect again really soon.