Moving beyond the comfort zone is what educators often ask students to do but how often do we ask ourselves to try something that may be uncomfortable? Yesterday at a regional meeting on Long Island, I asked participants to do this with an activity based on Daniel Pink's one sentence project.
Since the exercise was a quick, deep thinking one, the pressure was on. During the turn and talk portion of the collaborative activity, one participant commented, "This task was difficult". I replied, "Moving everyone out of their comfort zone is important." What followed was a great conversation. The administrator willingly share his feelings with the large group and other educators agreed, making this an aha moment.
When we push ourselves a bit more than usual, we open the world of the possible. We engage fully in the task as we stop, think, and ink. When we share our written expressions, we listen intently to each other and offer supportive comments. Hopefully, all these steps lead to the broadening of our perspectives. Activities conducted in a culture of trust allow voice to safely rise and risk-taking to be honored.
Because of the receptivity to interactive activities, the educators in the room created a first draft of their sentence defining who they are as leaders in a culture of positivity.
Here are some samples that were shared on Twitter at #elanetwork.
As instructional leaders in literacy, my hope is that we collaborate daily, passionately put ideas on the table, and build cultures of trust to help both teachers and students become more engaged.
How do you define yourself as an educator? What is your sentence?
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