I’m sure, without a doubt, I could compose an unfortunately long blog post to describe my experience at #ecet2 (Elevating and Celebrating Effective Teachers and Teaching). Yet, I’m also equally as confidant that I wouldn’t be able to find the right words to describe all my feelings (and chills) which have resulted from such.
So I’m going to leave this post short (but hopefully just as powerful none-the-less).
When I reflect on “takeaways” of ECET2 I could share a rather large running tab of strategies that I have learned. Frankly, I am excited to share such, but a blog post is not the platform for this. Rather, between conversations and periods of reflection, four unique words come to mind to describe this experience that apply to all educators:
Simply put, I feel validation that the experiences I have had in the field are part of a unique story to me, but also that such are embedded systemic themes that each educator shares, typically unbeknownst to them. The struggles and successes, no matter the given situation, often mirror one another. All of such provide validation that my journey in this education realm, albeit short at this point, is normal. That North Carolina, while undergoing state-specific issues, is facing similar educational constraints as others. *Insert sigh of relief (in some regard).*
However, more than validation, this experience has shown me the remarkable amount of courage that teacher leaders across the nation hold. These are educators that have decided to remain as teacher leaders, whether that is in a hybrid role, coaching, or in a full-time classroom setting, despite hurdles. They have chosen this path for they see themselves as agents of courage in a profession that requests vulnerability to fuel change. The conversations to be had that result in a movement towards change (for instance, on the topic of equity), are tough. Yet, these educators are choosing to be a voice in presenting and solving tough problems of practice. Ultimately, they see potential for growth in others, in turn resulting in growth of our students.
THAT alone is humbling.
To draw attention and respect to issues, to be “bold, courageous and curious” (well said, Lisa Hollenbach); over 17,00 educators are choosing daily to be a part of opportunities (whether small or large) in “cultivating the profession!”
As said by Melinda Gates (who is now officially on my “hero” list), “if we’re courageous in our own approach to learning, we ensure courageous learners are empowered.”
Be bold and courageous teachers; YOU inspire ME.