|(Photo by William M. Ferrirter)|
Recently, I have made some new friends. They are a lot like me but much smarter and way more talented than me. They know how to do really cool stuff and have skills I do not possess. We hang out and share our ideas. They inspire me and make me feel valued. They help me work out tough decisions and push my thinking so I can be better at teaching, and really, better at life.
Most of these people I have never met in real life. We live in different time zones, different countries, different continents. Yet I know them and their dreams, thier hopes, and what they love. They have shared their words, voices, and hopes with me, and encouraged me to do the same with them. After hanging out, I am left grinning because I know my heart has found partners in learning. We have a shared vision.
This is more than being a connected educator. This is about being a friend, an advocate, a coach, a teacher. With a shared vision comes common ground, caring hearts, and the expectation of greatness. These are the people that help raise the bar for who I am as a teacher, a leader, and a friend. They drive me to do better for my students and for myself. They do this by believing in me and waiting for me to share my experiences.
In a world where we compartmentalize and categorize, I encourage you to break the barriers and demolish the walls. Reach out and get to know people. Make connections, then nurture them because they mean something. Caring does not last one month. Connections are not contained to conferences. Inspiration should be ongoing, not momentary. Relationships that happen in isolation of your real life are, in fact, fake.
Who are you sharing your vision with? How are you respecting and cultivating lasting relationships with people that will understand, support, and challenge your ideas. How can we first connect- but then travel the distance with our like-minded friends?
I will commit to share my vision honestly with those that share my common space, finding those that want to journey the same road as me. I will hold tight to the people that search out my heart, meet my students, and push my ideas into greatness. I will help build these connections into a culture of sharing and learning. Let us work to craft this culture of connected people into a family.