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Lead from the Start: August 2009

Friday, August 14, 2009

Much Too Bright: At Peace with the Struggle and Moving On

I recently spent my week in "paradise" at Nimrod Arts Program. The week long retreat has been my moment to be my "truest" self during the doctoral work I have been doing in educational leadership and the teaching I do during the school year. The past two years have been explosions of creativity, iced with lots of insights and back slaps for the work I did. This year wasn't the same. I had been feeling a little restless. Like maybe I wasn't learning as much as I could with my paintings.

I decided before going this year to experiment in some way on every painting I did.

This can be a really difficult way to approach your "art" whether it is art or teaching. By trying to get outside of the box on every painting I wasn't able to be "really" happy with much of the work. I questioned my personal vision, "What should I do next?" and my vision said, "Ummm, I don't know." I feel like I made strong paintings but they don't live fully in the world I envision for them. I struggled, all the way through. Then, when I tried an approach I was comfortable with, I felt like I let myself down. It was a tough summer.

I have felt like this with my teaching before. Actually, I have felt this way a lot. Especially in the past year. I was tring to grow this past year but much of what I tried failed. Then when I tried what I knew would work, I was surrounded with criticism from myself and others involved in my classroom. I felt like I wasn't learning.

So I have decided that I need to try something new this year. I am going to leave the classroom. I have decided to take a job as Childhood Development Specialist with the my Head Start program. I will supervise about 12 teachers and 12 assistants. I have been pursuing my doctorate in educational leadership. Now I will get a chance to see if I am really a transformative leader like I have been trying to learn to be in work and school. I will work with the leadership team to support teachers through professional development, team work, and relationships. Oh, and to try out some 21st Century skills with teachers.

It should be an interesting year. Now for the art. I wonder what will happen.

The painting above is titled: On the Edge

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