Thursday, June 15, 2017

Vows to My Tribe

It's been a couple days and I'm starting to come down off of that magic PD cloud called USMSPARK.
In my descent to reality I am doing a ton of reflecting.
The theme of the two days for me was "tribe". This may seem very odd for a them, so let me explain. I was sitting at dinner Monday night with a large group of educators and I was asked if I had been to SPARK before or a conference similar. I explained that I had not been to this conference before or any of its size. I also mentioned that it was surreal to me to meet people that I have such a strong connection with on Twitter, the people I go to after a hard day. They are the people that, whether they know it or not, are able to pull me out of the rut caused by the negativity around me.
The response is what really stuck with me "So what you are saying is you found your tribe."
If you were to Google "tribe definition," you would get the following: a social division in a traditional society consisting of families or communities linked by social, economic, religious, or blood ties, with a common culture and dialect, typically having a recognized leader.
My definition is: A close community of people with a common culture and dialect. 
Loved meeting my #xplap family 
Our passion for our profession has brought us together and continues to strengthen us as we add members and share ideas. 
Through SPARK I was reminded why I push as hard as I do each day. As Kevin Honeycutt said if you are doing things right you can be "a lightening rod to other's fears" I desperately needed that extra boost, that power up. 
I don't want to lose the edu-magic of this conference. That is why I am writing this post. I am publicly making promises to my tribe. Vows that I will not forget the values I have gained. 
Here I go: 
To my XPLAP crew (#XPLAP): 
I vow to change the game of school. 
I vow to continue my game one piece at a time. 
I vow to let the game take a life of it's own. 
I vow to remember that I am the game master. 
Most importantly: 
I vow to always value the fun, the friendship and discovery that happens while playing a game!

To the keynotes Kevin Honeycutt (@kevinhoneycutt) and Marlena Gross-Taylor (@mgrosstaylor): 
I vow to speak out for the kids who have no one else to believe in them. 
I vow to continue to be that lightening rod if it means doing what is right for the students. 
I vow to avoid even the sigh that will judge a child. 
I vow to be the GPS for my students, not judging, just recalculating. 
I vow to constantly tell my students they are amazing and they will be successful
I vow to build the trophy cases and leave it to my students to fill them. 
Most importantly: 
I vow to push positivity and never give up!

To Joy Kirr (@joykirr)
I vow to embrace the chaos. 
I vow to continue to ask why and push my students to do the same. 
I vow to continue use student voice and student sharing as a vehicle for learning greatness. 
I vow to change some of the school terms I use to create a different atmosphere for my students. 
Most importantly: 
I vow to push away the negativity, whether it is with myself or with others. 

Chilling on the floor with Joy!

To myself: 
I vow to continue to reach out to these amazing people!
I vow to not give up fighting for what my students deserve!
Most importantly: 
I vow to never forget my edu-family, my tribe!