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June 26, 2013

Commentary: WK 4-Ken Green

by catherinejackson01

Original Post:

“Enrollment is the art and practice of generating a spark of possibility for others to share.” What a wonderful quote! I’ve discovered several inspiring quotes associated with The Art of Possibility that I want to print and hang in my office. “Remember Rule #6″ will certainly be one of them.

My new role as department coordinator at my school will include working with teachers on everything from scheduling events to curriculum implementation. While I thoroughly enjoyed all four chapters from this week’s reading assignment, chapters nine and twelve really spoke to me. I will make a concerted effort to encourage and support my colleagues, assisting them however possible in realizing their full potential, Ultimately, our students and our school stand to reap the benefits of this newly developed framework.

“It is about playing together as partners in a field of light… offer that which lights you up… have no doubt that others are eager to catch the spark.”

It’s exciting to imagine the possibilities of working in an environment where everyone is enrolled as a partner in our “field of light.” I’m also looking forward to returning to work next month and sharing all of this information – information from The Art of Possibility, Steve Jobs’ 2005 Stanford commencement speech and his inspirational “connecting the dots” concept. I’m sure my colleagues will be eager to catch the spark and begin the school year enthusiastically and optimistically. Just as Eastlea student Anthony rejoiced in conducting the Philharmonia in the finale of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, so too shall our students pursue and celebrate their potential.

Being the Board

I can recall several instances where I’ve blamed someone else for problems I’ve experienced and held onto that blame far longer than I should have. Had I only named myself the board and assumed responsibility in those instances, I may have transformed those experiences into more positive and productive ones.

I worked at a school that went through a difficult period in which the administration was removed for their inappropriate actions related to state-wide testing and financial discrepancies. Consequently, our school’s reputation was tarnished and moral hit an all-time low. I remember feeling angry and miserable.

My beleaguered colleagues and I soon came to realize that we were being blamed for the problems at our school, blamed by the local media and, subsequently, parents and community members. Really?! This was our fault!? We desperately needed to name ourselves the board and change our experience. Sadly, the administrative team hired to ostensibly “clean up the mess” we teachers had made took the position that it was “their way or the highway.” To date, nearly the entire faculty has chosen the highway.

“It is about playing together as partners in a field of light… offer that which lights you up… have no doubt that others are eager to catch the spark.”

I really like this! I plan on sharing this philosophy with my colleagues in hopes of enrolling them all as partners. Perhaps a new slogan like “it’s our way along this lighted highway”… hmmm… maybe I’ll just focus on enrollment and leave the slogan creating job for someone else.

 CAT’S COMMENTS:

 I have to comment on your response to becoming the board in the school situation.  When I read this section of the book, I missed the connection to the idea that being the board meant not only to accept responsibility but become aware of the possibility and create change to address the movement of the pieces of the board-I completely missed that connection or didn’t hang onto it long enough, so when I read your post, I had one of those “oohhhhhh” moments, and I wanted to tell you that your insight opened my eyes to an additional point the author was making with this chess or checker board metaphor.  With that said, did the change come from the maneuvering around the board by leaving school or did teachers and administrators prior to this point come to an understanding of how the school ended up as it did?  I love the looking back to connect one’s dot concept too…often we look forward to see where we are going and forget to reflect to see what got us there to begin with.  What is also interesting that Steve Job’s may have never even read this book, yet he managed to also generated enthusiasm for many of us because we have “caught the spark.”  Interesting how things look different after reading this book-

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