Ten Questions for 2015/16

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I’ve got lists everywhere; scraps of paper, post-its, an office whiteboard, the legal pad that slowly becomes an illegible doodle…

It’s all fine and well; thoughts jotted in the moment lead to other thoughts. Some bits and pieces get lost – others move forward into tangible form. I often laugh when I see a scribbled thought some months after writing it; sometimes I can’t recapture the thread I was slowly (haphazardly) weaving.

A thought isn’t so much the stick moving down the stream; grab hold or lose it forever. It’s more akin to the drop of water; always in movement, a times circling through eddies, stagnating as it loses contact with the current – yet in its eventual evaporation taking a new course, perhaps settling into another stream, ocean, glass of water…but not settling for long.

So what about a clean set of questions to anchor my thinking in 2015/16? Ten guiding thoughts for each hour, day, week? In those moments I am sure to be lost in the whirl of daily tasks – the spinning, disorienting eddy (Busy asserting its frenzied heft) – I would like a simple arrangement of ideas to reach for. Ideas that are less calm and gentle as they are provocatory – thoughts that push us out of our unconscious sprint, that bump up against Busy with their own gravity.

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Being a good educator in 2015/16 (and beyond) doesn’t mean working ourselves to the bone (though we know that will happen); it means stepping away from the familiar frenzy and reorienting ourselves to new possibilities. It means welcoming uncertainty (questions) as a refreshing source of nourishment.

In 2015/16, quieting the noise around (and within) us is the real work. Stepping away from our fixed roles and perspectives will be our most significant disruption and noteworthy innovation.

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