Thursday, August 5, 2010

Keeping Momentum Amidst Change

I have been attending School Administrators of Iowa (SAI) conference this week and I feel so pumped and positive for the upcoming school year. I heard great speakers like Alan November and David Warlick talk about changing education and I was nodding my head the whole time. How exciting! And I got to share this with other passionate administrators who are a part of my Personal Learning Network (PLN). I am excited; I am ready; I am wanting to make it happen... and then I think, how will I feel in a month's time when the start-of-the-year stress is at a high, or when there is the first of many hiccups in our planning, or when my thick skin is tested? How do I help others keep up the momentum and positive energy when real life hits us?

Here's one thing I am going to try: I am going to list the phrases and quotes that really mean something to me on a bulletin board in office. Nothing fancy, but big enough that I can see them and hold myself accountable for living them. Those on my list so far include:

"When do we lose the gumption to try and fail or to take risks and be wrong?" - Sir Ken Robinson
You can't lead anonymously others may learn - Sarah Brown Wessling
Who owns the learning? In great schools, kids own it. - Alan November
It’s okay to be where you are, but it’s not okay to stay there.
Communication happens when what is said is what is heard and understood
Never waste a crisis - Michael Horn
Improving is work that is never done
We are all learners

So I reach out to you, my learning network, colleagues, and friends. How do you keep the momentum and stay positive amidst change?


  1. "Don’t let existing systems limit your innovations." Just borrowed a quote from Bridgette Wagoner's blog Thanks, Bridgette!

  2. Hi Jen - I have told my colleagues at Burlington High School multiple times that I would rather fail miserably trying to create a more engaging learning environment than to just be satisfied with our current state.

  3. Hi Jen, I keep this one above my desk..."In a completely rational society, the best of us would be teachers and the rest of us would have to settle for something less, because passing civilization along from one generation to the next ought to be the highest honor and the highest responsibility anyone can have"
    -Lee Iacocca-

    Kind of wordy, but always kept me going as a teacher on those really tough days.

    Have a great year!

    Matt Dix

  4. Hey, Jen:
    I especially love "Never waste a crisis" and "Who owns the learning? In great schools, kids own it."
    Whenever I need a pick-me-up I try to find something amazing going with students in a classroom. Celebrate learning!
    Have a great year! Miss you...
    -Jen Thoma