In just twenty-five days of this school year it is becoming extremely obvious that the idea of transformation is starting to take shape as a very real theme in my life. Transformation of curriculum and pedagogy are in full swing as our humanities teachers enter new territory with a learning plan that we invested all summer in crafting. Transformation of practice has begun as we learn how to shift learning in a technology-rich environment, having more 1:1 learning environments than ever in our school's history. Our staff is navigating changes, personally and professionally, that bend us in new ways and require different levels of support and guidance. Things are different this year, and I can only hope that this foundation of change allows us to have enough energy and grace to sustain each other in transformational ways.
This week I took some time to listen to the TED Radio Hour on NPR. The topic? Transformation. If you haven't listened to this installment of the show, I would suggest you stop reading this and spend the rest of that time listening. Each story is chilling. Each is also truly beautiful. They made me pause and reflect upon my own story of change and struggle, but really on the magnificence that is allowed to take place when we embrace the new and the unknown. There is great depth when we are determined to turn tragedy in triumph.
In this moment of listening bliss, I could not help but also think to the kids I know every day. These kids, as adolescents, are going through one of the largest natural transformations we experience as human beings. This time is heartbreaking, confusing, and filled with excitement. Too often I forget the triumph that comes from the pain of growing, as our kids leave before the developmental shifts really start to level.
In this wandering of thoughts, I wondered if my journey this year is that much different from my own students' personal transformation. In more ways than ever before I am searching for a true happiness and purpose in my daily life. I'll explain this not as a search for something new, but for a deeper understanding of that which currently exists. With this search has come a flood of emotions, sadness, joy, and lots of confusion. With this search has come some of the most painful questions I have ever asked, and the budding acceptance around how fuzzy the answers are.
There are tons of smaller opportunities for transformations to happen every single day. Take time this month, as you connect and are hopefully connected to by others, to reflect on how these relationships and perspectives push your thinking, make you kinder, or allow for greater happiness. Take a minute to transform the facial expression of a student, making them smile with eyes instead of lips. Allow your behavior to surprise someone with your unexpected love or thoughtfulness.
In transforming others, we truly change our own self.