I am very excited to be part of the School Admin Virtual Mentor Program, and this post marks my first participation in the program. I have been lucky enough to be connected with a great mentor, Jason Markey, who I have been a follower of for some time and recently started to connect with. I have appreciated every interaction we have had, and I look forward to having more frequent and more in-depth interactions with Jason. I also look forward to connecting with my two fellows “mentees” Rebecca Kelly and Sue Tonnesen, and I know I will learn a lot from all three of these educators, along with many other participants in the #SAVMP.
We were challenged to write a post with one of two themes: “Why do I lead?” or “Why am I an Educator?”. I kind of feel like I am still developing an answer to the first question so I decided on the second, maybe this program will help me with that.
Why am I an Educator? To put it simply, it is what I am passionate about, and I found that out on the driving range…
I was still in high school, and our local golf club was without someone to run our junior golf program. Along with the help of one of our senior members, I was helping to make sure the program kept running, which meant once in a while I worked with some of our younger members on the driving range. While working with a young golfer, I helped with a fairly simple change he could make to his swing. He was frustrated that the ball was traveling along the ground, and wanted desperately to see the ball fly through the air, the way others were doing all around him. After a hand full of balls, it happened. The ball flew off his club and soared through the air, but it wasn’t that sight I remember, it was the look on his face as he turned to see my reaction.
It was in that look, and in numerous moments since then that my decision to be an educator has been reinforced. It started with sports, as I coached numerous teams, camps, and activities, and then as my teaching career began, it continued with math problems, science labs, and daily interactions with my students. I have a passion for helping people discover and learn, and I am a junkie for those looks – those moments where they are surprised by what they are capable of and they can’t wait to see your reaction as well.
In this SAVMP program, myself and all of the other “mentees” get the opportunity to be on that other end, we get to be the ones finding what we are capable of. We all have our mentors in our schools and divisions, but it's so great to get to have the opportunity to connect with others who will bring a different set of experiences and great advice as we develop as school leaders. Many thanks to George Couros for making this happen, another one of his great ideas and a wonderful opportunity for Rebecca, Sue, myself, and all of the other “mentees”.