Education

Breaking Our Ceilings

Two great blogposts and one movie trailer got me thinking today. Somehow, all three of these have merged in my mind into this thought. Watch out, it’s deep.

We often put ceilings on ourselves and on the people we work with. Somehow, we are who we think we are. And, somehow, people in our charge become who we think they are. This is the magic within us.

Break through your ceiling for others

The first post I read this morning is Jennifer Hogan‘s post The #1 key for being a good teacher. In this post, she shares that, despite popular thought, the #1 key to being a good teacher is not building relationships. There is something that comes before that. Jennifer says that the #1 key to being a good teacher is a positive mindset.

Believing that all children can learn at a deep level, embracing all of our students exactly as they are, and loving them quirks and all, are at the core of the positive mindset necessary to be a good teacher.

I reread the post from a principal’s perspective, to see if the positive mindset needed to be a good teacher rings true for principals. To be a good principal, do principals need to believe that all teachers can be good teachers, to embrace them exactly as they are, and love them quirks and all?

Can I get a YAAAASSSSS with a vigorous head nod?

We have to believe in people before they believe in us. We cannot be a leader without followers. It is just not possible. Not in the classroom with students, and not as a principal with teachers.

Break through your ceiling for yourself

The second post I read today was by Pernille Ripp and titled The True Power of Technology. In her post, Pernille shares stories of two students who find voice and confidence by sharing their passions through writing and becoming connected globally. They are powerful examples of harnessing the power of technology in a positive way.

We are who we think we are, and we are who we surround ourselves with.

Let’s say that again.

We are who we think we are, and we are who we surround ourselves with.

Technology gives us the ability to choose from hundreds of millions of people to surround ourselves with. On a monthly basis, there are 330 million people active on Twitter alone. The students Pernille wrote about decided to sing their song, to tell their story, and in doing so began to get connected with people who build them up and challenge them in the best ways.

Not so long ago, I felt very much alone. In my first principalship, my superintendent would give me a problem and tell me to come up with possible solutions. I would then go into my office to sit alone and wrack my brain for ideas.

That was so dumb. So so so dumb.

I didn’t call a trusted colleague or ask my #PLN to help me brainstorm. I thought that in order to be a good principal, all the great ideas had to originate from my brain. That stealing ideas (or “harvesting ideas” as Derek Wheaton likes to call it) from others was cheating.

After I switched jobs, I began to understand the value of having a vast array of colleagues who provide ideas and support. After attending a presentation by George Couros, I was empowered to share my story. I started blogging, rediscovered my love for writing, and grew stronger and stronger as I reflected on my practices and beliefs and learned from others.

With the increased confidence that came from sharing my story, I was able to lift the ceiling for myself by loving myself, quirks and all.

Confidence is the best accessory, don’t leave home without it

What better proof that we are what we think we are than the new Amy Schumer movie I Feel Pretty? This is by no means an endorsement of the movie because it isn’t even out yet, and I must warn you that the trailer is not appropriate for kids. But, I love the concept because it speaks to the point that we are who we think we are. Amy’s character wakes up from a fall believing that she is beautiful. And, she is. Just like that. No plastic surgery, no weight loss, just a change in mindset. And, it changes her life.

The real magic within us is that we are who we believe we are. There is an amazing amount of power right between our ears. In this crazy crazy world, understanding that there is so much within our control is empowering and life-changing.

So, you beautiful people, the world is waiting for you! Sing your SONG, embrace your quirks, and love others without conditions.

Image credit HERE

3 thoughts on “Breaking Our Ceilings”

  1. To add to my comment, seeking input and asking colleagues for advice shows how much you value THEM and their opinions, and to me, that is one of the most important leadership skills. I believe it fosters a work environment that makes everyone feel valued and “beautiful”.

    Liked by 1 person

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