I recently went to the park with my son, and he asked me if I would go with him on the swingset. I agreed, and we spent about 10 minutes on the swing. As the swing moved back and forth and the ground and sky seemed to shift, I thought about how it looks like (for almost a second) that we might be able to touch the sky if we swinged high enough.
Although I know that touching the sky on our swing was not probable, this did not stop me from moving back and forth on the swing. As my five year old cheered, “Higher mommy, higher!!!,” I was propelled to keep swinging higher even though I knew my efforts would never help us reach the sky.
Later that night, as my son and I ran home from the park (well, I ran and he biked!!) I thought about the connection between swinging and my experiences in education. Teaching and leading can be so much fun at times; the “new students” every year, the excitement of exploring new learning paths, the rewarding moments of seeing students and staff owning their learning etc. inspire me daily.
Yet, what drives me to move forward despite the fact that I will never touch the sky? In other words, what motivates me to come to work every day to serve, lead and teach even though I will never be able to reach everyone?
For me it is the belief (a feeling that I have deep in my soul) that everyone has the ability to reach their fullest potential. Even when it seems as though the ground beneath ones feet is shifting, the goal and pursuit of “touching the sky” should never be far away. There should be joy in the learning process and my job as a teacher leader is to continue to listen to what makes my students (and staff) want to touch the sky.