“What is the top advice you would give to younger generations?” I asked Joanne, a retired teacher who did her own share of shaking the system over the years. She was now facing end-of-life type decisions, and while a recent injury had her down, she wasn’t out, and the spark in her eyes in response to my question reminded me of this.
“Lead with your heart,” she said without hesitation. “And I mean lead. I use that word on purpose. Lead.” She explained that “following” one’s heart could create a frustrating situation of never reaching one’s desires. Instead, listen to what makes your heart sing, and then actively go for it. And while you are at it, you might find yourself leading others along the way. Joanne is one of those accidental leaders who make a difference in the world by making their own way.
The creation of personalized education programs, has been series of heart-lead projects, and I have often had people say that they couldn’t do the same thing. They have ideas of what they want, and try to follow paths to reach their goals, but they didn’t realize that leading sometimes means forging your own tools and cutting your path.
When my team and I sat down apply for accreditation for one of those programs, we overshot the mark in what was required because we were diverging from the norm. We were the freaks. The deviants. And six years later? We were the standard. As we worked through the reaccreditation process, we saw the new standards aligning to ideas that were considered radical and even confusing only six years ago.
I’ll went to the iNacol conference as a representative of a school who has been doing the “new” stuff for awhile. Instead of being complacent as the current standard, I wanted to see what more we could do to lead toward continued growth for students.
I would like to hear from you. What’s in your heart? Do you have any suggestions, or struggles that could be addressed in education?
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