Saturday, January 21, 2017

Cruise control should not be used to stay the course.

Continuous quality improvement puts you on a never ending journey.

Not only do I want to be on this journey, I want to do it with others that have the same passion and purpose. The journey is improved when others join you for the ride. Those other passengers include students, parents, teachers, administrators and community members. We are better together. However, I am discovering that with so many ideas of where to go and how to get there we become overwhelmed, overloaded, and lose our focus and even burn out. We actually are lost even though we are enjoying the ride with others. It is alright to change our course, because in the end, we do not want our journey together to end. But we must often take the time to remind ourselves why we took this journey together in the first place. The further we get from where we began (Our "Why")  the more we can get lost. We are then on a journey that is not taking us on the destination in which we originally set off.

Today I reflect on a conversation with my fellow passengers for positive improvement. They are the PLN from Twitter in today's @LeadUpNow #leadupchat conversation on saying NO. I decided to stop and pause on my journey to take in what others had to say and how it can relate to me on my journey before I continue to move blindlessly forward.

Today I decided to say no to the routine of cleaning on Saturday morning and grading papers because I was about to refocus the direction of my journey. Blogging at this moment is going to be more valuable on my journey in the long run.

Passionate educators have trouble saying no. I don't think we say yes because we want to prove we can do it more than we say yes to see if it is indeed something worth trying or testing if it is going to be awesome for our kids. We are skilled at taking risks. But there are so many things to say yes to. We need to have a mantra, a purpose, a vision, a mission, an overarching belief.

We need to have our GPS set toward a certain destination.  It needs to be reviewed often. It needs to be seen and heard. It needs to be our brand. It needs to be so apparent in all we say and do that people already know our answer before they ask their question.  It needs to be so apparent that they know that it is time to get in and join us or leave the journey altogether.

There was a point in the conversation where @LemarrTreadwell threw in a comment that really made me think. Why are we really saying no and why are people on the journey with us saying no? Is it because it isn't going to take us on our intended destination or is it because they lost sight in why we started in the first place and have learned to enjoy the cruise control; or status quo. It is easy to fall into a life of routine that has made life easier and comfortable.

Did we change the journey to be about us rather than the kids when we said no?

How do we get ourselves and others to get back on track? How do we get others to say yes when we know it is the right thing to do? How do we know that it is time to just let them out on the curb and keep on moving?

One thing I believe is that the purpose of our journey together needs to be loud and clear. We need to look back where we started often. We need to routinely make time to revise our "Why" and ensure what we are doing is indeed heading in that destination, toward the purpose we intend.

Happy to be along for the ride. Happy travels. @vrzemaitis
Created by @vrzemaitis using Canva

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