A Network Connecting School Leaders From Around The Globe
Sometimes the simple act of having a genuine and respectful dialogue can serve a broader purpose than the topic of discussion. Today I had an unplanned exchange with two teachers about their instructional practice. We did not do extensive planning for our meeting. We sat down at small tables designed for young children. The 10 -15 minute dialogue produced commitments to conduct a follow-up email exchange that would sharpen our focus, and lead to further steps aimed at reaching as yet unspecified goals.
The purpose of our conversation takes a secondary place in my mind as compared to the tone and focus of our hearts. We came to the table with mutual respect, and with a deep desire to improve our understanding. This simple act has tremendous value in building a culture that feeds the more precise work which will follow. We come away from our conversation anxious to move to that next step. Absent this essential move all of the well formed and documented plans and perfectly constructed binders of information will not yield their full potential.
I sit here on a Friday afternoon knowing that a small step was just taken to advance the cause of promoting our professional development. I also know that the journey of realizing a more balanced and sustainable path towards professional growth is nurtured and created in part through these simple conversations. I did not talk at them; I did not lecture a large group, or dazzle them with fancy PowerPoint presentations. I arrived at a simple space of time with a yearning to move down a mutual path of understanding.