The postcard has laid on the shelf for a week. Just receiving it, although expected, brought up many mixed emotions for me. My response is required by today. It would mean another committment, another volunteer role, and another chance to advocate for our student body. It also would mean another possibility there might be retribution aimed towards our students, if I say what I should, say what I want to, and say what needs to be said to garner improvements in our educational system at a district level. We need reform. I am being given a chance to provide insight from a parent perspective, a long time contributor to student enrichment, a non-formal educator, and dedicated community stake holder.
For the past week, I have tried to ignore the postcard, although it was moved to my to-do pile day after day. I know what is involved with this invitation for community listening. I know from the stand point of a community member who has been involved for 18 years in what makes our district work and not work. I know from the standpoint of past committee work, volunteer work, and service on interview teams. I know from having taken a leadership course on strategic planning this past spring. There is a lot involved. Opinions will run high and emotions will run even higher. I do not express myself well verbally when I am passionate. I would rather write. I am better at that form of communication. Still. It is a chance to make a difference. Again.
Here is my problem, when I choose to commit, I do it with 110% of my abilities, feelings, and time. I know. This is me. Committing with fierce loyalty and the expectation of excellence, knowing the risks of vulnerability, and judgement that might await me, is difficult. Not everyone commits in the same way. I know. I have seen the half-hearted attempts to be involved, to “pretend” a difference is being made, to say “we are already good” – let us talk about that instead. Most commit in this fashion. Not all, but most. I am not necessarily saying it is wrong. It just is not me, not the way I commit. Just different.
Earlier this morning, still undecided, still worried about this new chance to commit, I picked up the post card and called to respond to the community listening session invitation from our school district. My belief in the need for improvement in our educational system for all students is strong. I value excellence in education. Our students deserve the best. We need to become student centered, offer transformative experiences, and use an increased variety of models to reach students when we teach. We need change.
Yes, I know the buzz words. I do a lot of “extra” educational reading. I have recently taken graduate courses in leadership, strategic planning, and models of teaching and learning. I know students, both my own and others, could be served better – and deserve better.
So, this morning, maybe against my better judgement, I, once again, decided to commit. Commit to attend the listening session. Commit to respectfully listen to views that differ from my own. Commit to being vulnerable again. Commit to, once again, trying to make a difference for our student body. I made the call. I decided to commit. May God give me strength!
Inspired by WordPress Daily Prompt: Commit