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Hello teacher candidate. I have been thinking a lot about you this week.

To be honest, I think about you often in the last month of school. There is something about the energy at the end of the year that makes me nostalgic. I think about do overs and do no mores and new beginnings.

I have seen you once or twice in the hallways, staff meetings and meant to connect with you. See how you’re doing. Whatcha up to?

But, I’m going one way; you the other.

Each with some pressing task to complete.

Now with the summer upon us, I really do wish that I had made a greater effort to make time with you. Just to sit for a bit, share resources, trade stories. Relate.

I feel lousy that I looked busy, because I’m not really sure that I was.

Sometimes I was just ‘hustlin with paper in hand’. Not really in the moment. Not really minding the gaps. In automatic transition.

We all have stuff to do, yet at the end of the year I wonder is it always the right stuff.

Besides wrapping up this school year; the reports, the clean up, the archiving. I also start to lean forward into the next school year. So many possibilities, so little time to map out a reasonable plan. And I suspect that September will arrive, like always, in the same Navy Seal sneak attack pandemonium that it does every year. I emphasize LIKE IT DOES EVERY YEAR. 

Blindly, I fall into the overplanning trap every summer. And I am tripping into the trapline every June. So, in September, I have a whole lot of stuff that may or may not be en pointe because my planning has not met my students yet.

So, unofficially my summer will be spent imagining new paths, resting, relaxing, getting bored, and still trying to get life stuff done.

What are you up to?

Degree, done. Faculty of Ed, done. 60 days from now you will have officially arrived – an occasional, part time, or full time teacher.

What are you feeling?

My dad once told me that 1 year of workworld equals 10 in school. In his view, textbooks and lectures got you to the door with a random set of keys. Too many to count, too little time to examine them all.

You may have felt this reality in one or both of your practicums. 

He riffed on this idea whenever he was involved in hiring new team members. Other times, it was when he was nostalgically accounting for his humble beginnings with the bank.

I started with the bank, in the mailroom, right out of highschool … now I hire business graduates to do the same job.

Pete Cluff – on job competitiveness

When  he reflected on the value of experiential learning to his success he accepted open mindset in its fullest form. And I hve come to appreciate the power of taking risks because of it. 

I often said yes before I fully understood what I was getting into.

Pete Cluff – on risk

My dad  upgraded or upskilled with surgical precision. His continued learning and growth mindset, was the edge he had on his competition. And he always knew the where and what of the next wave of change because he was generally standing in water chest deep, watching the white caps forming in the distance.

This approach served him well. He choked on a wave or two, but somehow managed to swim with sharks throughout his career. This brings to mind the vastness of the invisible bits in teaching. Some just below the surface, though not necessarily sharklike, can still surprise and nip. 

Had I sat with you, I would have shared a word or two about wellness, and mindfulness, and community. All are powerful repellants for EDU bugbites. All are bits of me that only connect over lunch time chats and coffee runs to Tim Horton’s. These micro structures build immense internal supports in my EDU world and could for you too. 

I really wish I had shared them with you.

For now, I leave you with this.

Tina Zita @tina_zita  posted a great question about teacher leadership on her FlipBoard    https://flipgrid.com/ead74d and in my response I proposed that leadership means openly and obviously stepping into uncomfortable spaces, learning on the fly to fly, and maybe even supporting others in the process when you are not completely sure of the destination.

I plan to take my own advice and meet you in September.

I challenge you to do the same.

Chris