Audacity: a willingness to take bold risks.
synonyms: boldness, daring, fearlessness, intrepidity, bravery, courage.
I've officially made this my word for the year. Often recognized for its negative meaning, I think it nicely defines our role as leaders of educational change.
When Sandra first asked me to present at the November 4 meeting, my initial reaction was to refuse. I believe that how I teach is rooted in a strong understanding of learning, how technology can contribute to learning, and the changing needs of our students in the 21st century, but standing up in front of 200 or so educators (most of whom have much more teaching experience than I do) is a vulnerable place to be. What if I can't find the words to effectively communicate my ideas, or even worse, what if my entire presentation merely states the obvious?
Two thoughts drove me to telling Sandra "Sure!" First off, the theme of "obvious to you, extraordinary to others" was very reassuring. I think this needs to be the mantra of anyone taking a risk and sharing a piece of them self with others. The QR code piece specifically worried me. There are many fantastic teachers doing awesome things with QR codes in their classrooms and I didn't want to come off like a salesman selling a typewriter to a room full of web-based authors (does that simile work?? Haha). I feel differently now. The feedback and response from teachers and admin in our district has been very reassuring. This tweet in particular alleviated many of my insecurities.
The second piece that game me strength was my word of the year. I feel strongly that meaningful educational change will not come easily. Tradition in education sticks deep, and people who deviate away from tradition will often be questioned (or worse, ridiculed). As educational leaders, we must be audacious. We need to realize that even though there is a struggle ahead, our educational system must change because society has changed. Content is everywhere now, our students need different skills now than they have in the past, and technology has given us the power to do amazing things with learning. I challenge you to be audacious in your own schools. Take risks and challenge tradition because our educational system, and most importantly our students, are worth it.
Thanks for your time, Kirk