Over the last week and a half, I have been thinking about all of the changes in my life over the last 6 months. Specifically, the changes in my professional life have made me a little reflective.
I am no longer in public education. Its been a month since I left my position as a technology education specialist. The transition to Education Consultant for The WH PLATTS Company has been relatively smooth. I am learning the ways of the business world and the differences being out in the “real world.” (As opposed to the world of being a state employee) One thing I realized is that “I fit” in this position and I am on the verge of creating some great things. My new “family” tells me the sky is the limit and if I can make it happen, I can do it….which leads me to #2.
Change#2 – HUGE moment in my professional career
At this years SC EdTech I was honored to receive the SCAET/ISTE Making It Happen Technology Leadership Award. I was nominated by one person but a panel of my peers across the state chose me to receive this award. There are moments throughout the last 10 years that I have thought, “Why do I do this?” or even “is this what I am supposed to be doing?” The answer to the questions are: I am doing this to help everyone around me make a difference in a child’s life and yes, it is what I was supposed to be doing.
October 15, 2009 was a day that my peers said thank you by choosing me for this award. I have to admit, when I found out I was chosen, I thought, why me? What makes me so special? I am just me and I still feel that way but throughout the conference many people made me feel special for all of the times that I helped them out, shared a resource, brought people together to share experiences, or just listened.
I have never seen myself as a leader. I am just the girl who plays entirely too much on her computer and shares what she finds. I hope to NEVER utter the words, “Don’t they know who I am?!?” Who I am doesn’t matter, what matters is was I able to help further your understanding or skills. So I want to thank all of you in SC and in my PLN who helped me reach this point in my journey.
All of this has made me think about Seth Godin’s Tribes. One quote from the book that resonates in me is “Leadership is a choice. It is the choice to NOT DO NOTHING (p59).” By that definition, we can all be leaders in South Carolina and beyond to further technology integration in to our schools. If we choose to do nothing or not “make a ruckus (p19)”, we are hurting our students. We aren’t preparing them for the world they will live in.
It doesn’t matter who you are or what you do. SHARE with one another! Join learning networks… explore options for your own learning… I would not know half of what I know if it had not been for all of you who shared or asked questions that challenged my knowledge. So I challenge everyone who reads this, share something you do with technology with a colleague this week, show someone something new, or try something new. If you are bold enough to cause ruckus, why not challenge the internet filter or the evaluation committee’s decision if it didn’t turn out the way you wanted. Make a conscious choice to NOT DO NOTHING.
Remember, its not about the awards or celebrity. Its about the students. Let’s Make it Happen for them.
5 thoughts on “Leading from the Center”
Hey Mary Ann, great inspirational post to read on a Sunday morning. It made me think of the Ghandi quote “Be the change you want to see in the world.”
You go girl!
@Robin, thanks. I start every day with that quote!
Wow. This one stung a little, as I am notorious for not wanting to take the step and “lead.” What you have said here is eye-opening and challenges ME to self-reflect. You know that I have always seen you as a mentor, especially as a tech educator in SC, so your recognition by ISTE and SCAET (in my opinion) are long overdue. Thank you for pushing limits when they needed pushing, but also for being an inspiration to those of us who are not always sure if the push is worth the battle. Since I have known you, I have grown as a professional. I am honored to have the chance to call you a colleague and friend.
Congratulations on your award! You deserve it!
Great Post. This can be applied to anyone in any industry. We all need to share because we're all in this together. Just wish ego's wouldn't get in the way all the time.