‘It is not sufficient to see and to know the beauty of a work. We must feel and be affected by it.’
This year’s #OneWord2018 for me would be ‘BEAUTIFUL’. Beautiful in every aspect. Be it work, cultivating friendships, nurturing family, building my learning community etc. Whatever I do, I will ensure that it would be of high standard, aesthetic in appeal and stimulating. Choosing a word that will be a stimulus for the year made me think of how the work I do impacts my colleagues, students, schools and me. As my circle of influence changes, I must ensure that I remain alert, attentive and accepting of the various experiences that will unfold in the year ahead.
Alert to the needs of the students. Make them more self-reliant. Use technology to engage students the way they would like to be to further their learning. In the words of Dave Burgess, “provide an uncommon experience for your students and they will reward you with an uncommon effort and attitude.”
Attentive to what others are saying and to what they may not be saying verbally. Attentive to the advancement that is taking place around me. Calvin Coolidge as President of the United States, saw dozens of people each day. Most had complaints of one kind or the other. One day a visiting Governor told the President that he did not understand how he was able to meet so many people in the space of a few hours. “While, you are finished with all your visitors by dinner time”, said the Governor, I am often in my office till midnight.” “Yes” said Coolidge. “That’s because you talk.”
Accepting, being part of, and creating change is the preamble of transformative leadership. Accepting change for most of us is not easy. Specially if that change has the potential of turning our age old practices on it’s head. Beauty therefore lies in our ability to set the stage for accepting the new, understanding the social-psychological fear of change and building capacity as articulated by Michael Fullan. While change is inevitable it is better embraced when there is trust. An environment of trust leads to better collaboration, builds stronger learning communities and offers opportunity for robust professional development that has the potential to light up our imagination and give us the confidence to try something new. In the words of Seth Godin create a ‘purple cow’ experience in their classrooms!
The year has just begun but before we know it, we will be ready to celebrate the end of this one and the beginning of the next. An interesting story that encourages me to value time goes like this; the doctor’s waiting room was crowded. An elderly gentleman who had been waiting for almost an hour, said to the receptionist, “I cannot wait any longer, would you kindly give me an appointment for another day?” One woman in the crowd whispered to the other, “he must be at least eighty years old. What sort of urgent business can he have that he cannot afford to wait?” The man over heard the remark and said, “I am eighty-seven years old, which is preciously why I cannot afford to waste a single minute of the precious time I am left with.” (Discovery 2017)
No minute is unimportant. Therefore, make the most of it to create something of beauty!