Let’s face it, educational leadership is a climb. It starts somewhere in the classroom, evolves over time, and becomes a opportunity for change. It takes time, energy, focus, and a willingness to reflect along the way. My climb is one I think has a great message, and may perhaps help others to see that climbing the ladder is one thing, but knowing when to take a couple steps back is crucial.
If you don’t know much about me, know I have been a teacher, a consultant, and a school based instructional technology specialist. That climb was a lengthy one, and took a lot of patience. It required a great PLN, connecting and sharing, but most importantly, it took a willingness to keep climbing. I have held the role of the technology specialist for three years, and in that time I felt I had a nice little view from the top rungs of the ladder. I was afforded the opportunity to be a part of our connected classroom initiative, which will put amazing resources in our classrooms this fall. I served on committees, presented, and promoted our school in every way I could. What I found was that when I really took a hard look at my view from the top of that ladder, what I found was that I was pretty lonely. I could look far and wide, but when I looked deep, I didn’t see the change I wanted to see. I was sitting atop a pretty quiet and solemn ladder. It was time to make a change, and a change I certainly made.
Next year I am climbing back into the classroom. I plan to be sitting on the ladder and looking across at others who are going to climb with me, making this a far better climb indeed. You see, I have done tons of reflecting, and what I truly believe is that a title is just that. Being a knowledgeable and driven technology specialist doesn’t magically make change happen. Change comes from within. So as I settle into my new role, my goal is simple. I intend to show that teacher leadership is the difference maker. I plan to show that strong teachers who are growing and sharing will make growth happen. I will be part of a growing vision rather than the cheerleader calling out from the ladder above. I will be walking the journey with my peers, and that I truly believe will be what makes change happen. So if you want to take some bets… or just watch it all unfold.. follow me @jaimevanderg and watch #TeamMinter and #JVand3rd in 2017-18!
Let’s just see what happens when climbing the ladder isn’t as important as being part of a team committed to growing!