In "The Element", Sir Ken Robinson talks about finding your 'tribe'; a group of people who provide "inspiration and provocation to raise the bar on your own achievements." It got me thinking about the diverse people who make up my 'tribe'.
I have a colleague from a former workplace who has inspired me on an almost daily basis for the last two years. We discuss new ideas, concepts, pedagogies, student issues, staffing issues, and are honest and open enough to give each other feedback and admit when things don't go to plan.
I have another colleague who helped me in my initial journey into using technology as a collaborative tool, and who opened my eyes to the possibilities of learning opportunities that could be achieved through 21st century technologies. Although we no longer work together, he is my "go-to" if I need advice, or clarification, or a sounding-board.
Then there are my Twitter friends, most of whom I've never met in 'real' life. These are people who I follow because their pertinent questions and observations concerning the field of education help me to develop my own ideas about the type of educator I want to be. They open my eyes to new ideas and prompt me to be adventurous, take risks and try new things, for the benefit of my students. And, most interestingly, they probably have no idea they are in my tribe!
I've also found a tribe-member in my new Deputy Head, who has proved to be a tremendous source of encouragement. Who sees what I am trying to achieve and backs me. Who helps me stand up for the things I believe about student learning. Who values my contributions.
Robinson says, "Connecting with people that share the same passions affirms that you're not alone; that there are others like you and that, while many might not understand your passion, some do." I am so grateful to have these people in my tribe, and that they push me to be a better teacher, leader and citizen.
So thank you @kelizplace, @andy_mccaskill, @wholeboxndice, @mrkempnz, @ewanmcintosh and to the many others who inspire me. Who's in your tribe? Do they know that they are driving you to bigger and better things?