Our professional book club was to meet this evening to discuss Angela Duckworth’s, Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance. While the group did not meet for a variety of reason, something of relevance did happen…
The previous day, I received word that I was not the successful candidate for the secondary level coordinator of our local rural teacher education program. The program is an amazing opportunity for teacher-candidates to train in the latest pedagogical approaches to best support rural students, schools, and education systems. I so badly wanted the privilege and honour to helping to shape the future educators of our rural areas. I have three kids in the public system and want only the best for them.
My immediate reaction to this news…
Why not me?
I shared the news of my disappointment with one of my referees for the application through a private Tweet thread. Something like “wasn’t the successful candidate, apparently it was a difficult decision”. My mentor (and referee) replied, “No doubt you were successful – just not selected. 😉. The feedback will be helpful – but always remember it maybe isn’t what you didn’t bring the role – but something specific someone else brings to the role.”
You know those ‘aha’ moments? Yep, this was one of those.
Sure, I’m bummed, but not bummed out. But, I think there’s a subtle difference here. I am a little sad about not being the ‘successful candidate (not sure that I like that phrase since I didn’t really fail). No one likes to be told that someone else was selected over them. I think that it’s how I respond next is what counts. It’s about perseverance. It’s about, Duckworth-parlance, grit.
So, how am I responding? I believed (and still do) that I owed it to myself to learn more about my challenges and how I can improve and develop the necessary skills for similar future opportunities. I asked the team lead for a brief conversation. She promptly and enthusiastically grant me request. I wanted to be ready for the next time. The second response? By applying for another opportunity that showcases my strengths, passion, and purpose that supports our indigenous learners in the world-class education system we possess in British Columbia.
I have purpose. I have passion. It’s kinda hard to fail at anything when you have those two assets as your wings. I think that’s what helps one to persevere.