Sh&$ Happens (or Why Destiny Matters)

I can control my destiny, but not my fate. Destiny means there are opportunities to turn right or left, but fate is a one-way street. I believe we all have the choice as to whether we fulfill our destiny, but our fate is sealed. ~Paulo Coelho

Sh#% happens Emerges (for a reason)

Admittedly, I struggled this year in my new assignment. I felt determined to prove something, and yet, the definition of that something eluded all explanation. I felt, at times, unsupported, and yet, experience colleagues had reached out to me early in my struggles. I felt pressured to bend to whim of parents, students, and administration, and yet, none of that appeared true. I felt underappreciated for my efforts, and yet, received public accolades from peers, alike.

Admittedly, there were times of good, but my recollections vacillated mostly between the bad and ugly of this year. Yes. It was a very unhealthy way to show up for my students, my colleagues, and me. With the exceptional rare episodes that bordered on joy and equanimity, this has been, essentially, a year of survival. The dance could not repeated for a second time. Surviving would no longer be an option; living a practice of thriving is where my teaching heart longs to exist.

I am not a fatalist but, like Coelho, believe that an individual’s fate is the result of the left and right turns we make both consciously and often unintentionally. Every day. All the time.

After a few false starts, I recently dove into Adrienne Maree Brown’s book, Emergent Strategy. I am curious about its relevant application for our work in a new environment with new challenges. As a team, we will be utilizing this framework as the lens through which we approach our planning and roll with the ups and downs of the year ahead. What has emerged is the need to continue to be authentic with ourselves, each other, our students, and their families. There is simply no other way.

I predict numerous opportunities await our school, program, students and their families, and staff for 2019-2020. In particular, a long-term vision of our middle years program as it emerges. Development and cultivation of new relationships. Creation of new energies. The beauty and chaos of emergence at work.

There exists a deep opportunity for me continue to live, teach, and learn along the ‘edges’ of public education at which my frustration and exasperation is squared aimed. I predict a transformative year ahead; one that will require taking risks, having difficult conversations, holding space for one another, moving into places of awkwardness, feeling vulnerability, and living in the many moments of discomfort. The factors that truly lead to heart-led living and teaching. And within that context possibly thriving.

You cannot connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. ~Steve Jobs

Turning Inwards

At the moment, I am not sure that there is enough heart-led teaching in public education in our province. As a result, I find myself disconnecting from the current collective bargaining sessions between the government and its teachers. I have all but dissolved my existing connection with other educators through Twitter and Facebook. My longtime appetite for the larger conversation continually revolves around public education is quickly dwindling. I’m a little worried about my disengagement from the noise.

But should I be…?

On the other hand, I am very eager to unite with my colleagues at the end of an extremely tumultuous year in the evolution of our school. Sparing the reader the gory details, suffice it to say we are excited to rally, grow, learn, and stretch through a tremendous heap of sh#$ that was the 2018-2019 iteration.

(NOTE: This is where I make a left (or right) turn away from the miasma of education, politics, and their aftermath. A turn inwards with myself and my immediate community.)

It is time to sink into my mouse view of my relationship to my career, and simultaneously, pull up the stakes (for the time being) on my eagle view that has dictated my professional decision-making for two decades.

The moment to own, and honour, my destiny has emerged.

Going inward.

[Deep breath.]




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