We’ve been lucky enough to get the opportunity to work with Metamorphosis Teaching Learning Communities to design workshops focused on content coaching and elementary math support. These workshops have been a great experience for me, as I continue to learn the ropes of working with various educators and building relationships with those with additional expertise that can benefit our region.
This morning, my supervisor and I joined Lucy West and Donna Santman for a learning circle to start the day. During this circle, everyone in the room shared their thoughts on coaching work up to this point, and reflections on what and how practices have changed for participants and those they serve.
As Lucy was summarizing the report out, she was commenting on a reflection made by one of our assistant superintendents that a key part of coaching design was beginning wherever you are. Lucy used the quote, “Start anywhere, go everywhere” in reference to beginning a coaching initiative, and it made me think of how applicable that comment is to much of what we do.
The idea of starting anywhere and then going everywhere means to me that we are comfortable with our starting point, and what we have, and sometimes, we just need to give it a try and see what happens. This flexibility in starting point is sometimes all we really need to get an initiative going, and it can be the difference between a failed initiative or one that never exists (with the failed initiative being millions of times more useful in learning than one that is never experienced). Of course, it can also lead to tremendous success. But regardless, once we start, we need to explore all facets.
Recognizing that just as there is no one starting point, there is also not one path, is key to us identifying all of the great ideas that are out there. When those we serve understand that nothing is off-limits as long as it supports learning, then we are most likely to get the best ideas, even if some of them aren’t yet possible.
Starting anywhere and going everywhere is not only a mantra for leadership, but one for life. We can do anything we put our mind to, as long as we’re comfortable beginning where we are, and never giving up until we’ve explored all there is.