As we approach the last two weeks of school, it is natural to start asking these questions of our students to assess their growth and progress. For adults, it's equally as important to reflect on our year to see what are the lessons we can take away and grow from.
This has been one of the hardest years I've experienced in quite some time, perhaps the hardest year of my life. My Wife had a routine surgery on February 3, and ended up with two emergency surgeries three and four weeks later. The lack of control that I felt was something I never want to experience again and I am grateful for the amazing care that was shown to her and to me throughout this process. To this day, people in MPS still come up to me and ask how she is doing. I am truly touched by each and every person who reaches out.
Still I have learned a lot, through this ordeal. However, two things stand out.
Be humble. The turning point for My Wife was when her surgeon anonymously shared her case with her colleagues, asking for help from others. The surgeon recognized the limitations of her medical specialty and turned to her colleagues for assistance. We all have blind spots, we are all limited by our natural abilities, our learned skills, our humanity. We are surrounded by amazing people on a regular basis who we have the opportunity to learn from, if we allow them to teach us.
Be kind. It may sound trite but it is really true. While I felt a great deal of anger and frustration from the lack of answers in My Wife's medical case, I knew nothing would be gained if I was not thoughtful in my interactions with the various medical professionals we were interacting with. Intuitively, I knew it would not help My Wife at all and it may have hindered her care. This New York Times article was shared with me and validated my thinking. One of the hallmarks of my time in education and educational leadership is that I would rather be kind than be right. And while I don't get there every time, it is the standard that I strive to attain.
Please, if you are reading this blog post take a minute - literally one minute - and respond. Post your comment below. Share your learning from this year. One or two words - no explanation necessary. I would love to see what we have learned collectively as educators, as people, since August 2016.
So what have you learned this year?