I am now back home after my three day trip with the Heinemann Fellows. And of course, now that I am home, I can recognize what my doubt really was. It was the feeling that comes when you find yourself surrounded by incredible people with incredible ideas. I wish that you all could have heard the conversations that we had. I honestly do not know if I have ever been lucky enough to be surrounded by such passionate and dedicated teachers before. It is a gift. And a gift that is easily tainted when I allow myself to let that genious make me feel inadequate. But, I tell you, it is hard not to. It is hard to be surrounded by that kind of brilliance and not feel a wee bit unworthy.
And now that I am home, and now that I look back on all that I have gained because of this group and this experience, I realize that I am just so lucky. And I remember that the biggest gift that I have gotten from this group is the inspiration to try and make a change. I have been inspired to imagine what my ideal classroom might look like and I have been inspired to work towards making that ideal a reality. That is the true gift of this group. Inspiration.
Up until now I have let my fear of not being good enough stop me from writing about the work that I have been doing around my action research project. I have not written on this blog about it for fear that it just wouldn’t measure up. And then today, I remembered. After talking about this with my wife, she reminded me of who I really am. She reminded me that I do what I do for my students and not for anyone else. I work the way that I work for my students. All of this is to make me better for them. And they have been better. I have seen it with my own eyes. This work that we are doing together, it is changing them. It is changing my classroom. And that is why I am doing this all. I am not trying to be as good as anyone else. I am not trying to convince the world that I know what I am doing. I am not doing this to prove that I am worthy. I am doing this for my kids.
And our work should be shared with others. Not because it is the best way to do things. Not because I have thought of anything that no one else has already thought of. Not because what I have done will work for anyone else besides me and my students. Our work should be shared because it is worthy. Because I have seen something that wasn’t work and I am trying to make it better. And that is enough.
So the floodgates have been opened. I sat down to write about my action research today and pages and pages of writing spilled out. And I want to post them here, in pieces over the next few days, because I believe in the work that we are doing. I am going to begin to share the work that we have been doing and as I told the Heinemann Fellows this weekend, I usually post things with the belief that mostly just my mother will read them. But should anyone else happen to come by, I would love to begin a conversation. I would love to hear what you have to say and what you have tried and what has worked for you. Because I am proud of our work and I also know that we have so much futher to go. I look forward to any feedback you might be willing to give.