Saturday, July 6, 2013

First we get started...

This post has been a long time in coming to fruition- written in response to a friend who has been very patient in waiting for me to fulfill a promise that I made to him months ago.  Way back in March, I was fortunate to have met George Couros while at ASCD 2013, along with a plethora of educational leaders whose work I greatly admire.  To be honest, I was rather star struck.  As a first year administrator, it was rather surreal to find myself in the midst of such greats as George, Dave and Shelley Burgess, Jimmy Casas, Dr. Joe Clark, Tom Whitby, Joe Mazza and Eric Shenniger, just to name a few.  Because of Twitter, I was warmly welcomed into their conversations.  It didn't hurt that I was with Tom Whitford  (aka @twhitford)  who had been chatting with so many of these people much longer than I had.  I did what I usually do in a new situation- stand back and observe, just soaking it all in.  But George quickly put an end to that, pulling me into the center of things.  He encouraged me to share what I know, what I am thinking, and what I have been learning this year.  Over lunch, George, Tom and I chatted about ways to support staff in response to all of the new initiatives that are coming our way, as well as the goals that we each have set for ourselves.  George answered many questions, but asked just as many of us. If you have met him, you will understand what I am talking about.  George pushes your thinking, challenges your responses, makes you really consider what you believe.  I appreciate that about him, even as I occasionally shook my mental fist at him.

Still, having made a promise to him that I would start blogging that very weekend, I found myself stalled.  I blamed it on needing to reconnect with my children, with the intense workload waiting for me back in my office, on just about anything that let me off the hook for not following through.  But when I am being truly honest with myself, it was procrastination out of fear.  Fear that I would not be successful at this new skill, fear that I might be mocked, or challenged in my thinking, or that I might even misspeak and say something that I shouldn't.  I recently read Ben Gilpin's blog post  on The Fear of Sharing  (if you haven't read his work at  , you should definitely do so)  I admire Ben's work a great deal and the idea that he has had the same fears that I have been facing is reassuring.  It was also motivating.

This is just the beginning- but it is a beginning.  Someone I greatly admire has often told me, "First you get started, then you get better."  I am finding that this philosophy helps me continue on when I stall, looking for the perfect moment, or the perfect decision.  There is no such perfection, but as Maya Angelou said, "When you know better, you do better."  What inspires you when you stall?  How do you battle self-doubt?  What are you beginning?

And, George, thanks for the push!