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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in courage

Posted by on in General


"Never doubt a small group of thoughtful, commited citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." Margaret Mead.

Well, it's official, I graduated. Preschoolers are now ready for Kindergarten in the fall. Last night I happened to see one of the littles with his family at a Mexican restaurant. He looked at me, like Teacher Rita what are you doing here?

Maybe it's because teachers are always teaching, parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, too. We are all teachers, whether in the schoolhouse, at home or out and about. There is always a lesson in there somewhere. And we instinctively know how to teach.

With world events swirling around us, seems like focusing on health and life's simple pleasures makes sense. Savoring a flower petal, river rapids, hearing wind chimes becomes more important than ever.

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Posted by on in Education Leadership



Do this.

Do that.

Constant Haste.

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Posted by on in What If?
I recently watched a fantastic six minute YouTube video featuring Steve Harvey.  I know, I know, Steve Harvey had the gaff at the Miss Universe Pageant, but that doesn't detract from the great things he has done for people.  I imagine he has made most of us laugh, cry and think.  The video is titled, You Have to Jump (6 min).  
I bring this up because the message has made me reflect on my journey. How many times have I jumped?  Is there still more opportunities in my future?  I honestly don't know, but I hope to have the courage when the time comes.
There was a time I jumped.
Years ago I was at a low point and feeling very much isolated in my career. I was filled with doubt and I had several depressing days.  On the outside I tried very hard to smile, be positive, and support others, but on the inside I was lacking belief in myself.  Then one evening when I felt very low, I turned to my wife and said, "I'm not sure I can do this." She was amazingly supportive and cheered me on like no one else could.
That night I turned in very late.  I actually sat in bed and checked out twitter for the first time.  I had an account prior to that night, but I nothing with it.  That night I jumped.  I began to follow conversations, click on links, and connect with other educators.  I threw caution to the wind and went for it.  Within a very short amount of time I could feel myself energized.
You never know when opportunity will knock.  I never want to look back and regret not jumping.  I don't want to be the person standing on the edge and watching life pass me by.
My individual journey has been filled with its fair share of "forks in the road."  I think I've jumped multiple times, and who's to say I won't again. 
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Posted by on in ShiftParadigm


I remember the day very well. It was 2002, and my husband and I lived and worked in a small community in southern Indiana. I had just finished my English teaching licensure after I had received my Bachelor’s degree two years prior, substitute teaching as much as I could, and I was looking for a permanent teaching position. There were no open positions in the area, and since we were young, without children at that time, we decided to go to a job fair to see what was out there in the state of Indiana. While at that job fair, we met Ben.

Ben was a former Hoosier, now living and working in Pasadena, California, as the human resources director for Pasadena Unified School District, and he told us that he always made a trip to Indiana to recruit teachers, as there was a shortage of teachers where he was and he loved Indiana teachers. He was a former teacher and building administrator himself.

At the job fair, we stopped by his booth, just curious. What we didn’t realize was that Ben was about to change our lives.

He wanted to interview both of us that same afternoon. What?!?! I had my resume and a short version of my portfolio with me. My husband had the same. I did not feel prepared for this at all! We interviewed with him together - not separate interviews - and he drilled us. We answered question after question, truly walking away feeling like we were not ready for this job hunting process to begin! We started the drive home, both concluding that that was good practice, and we would continue to see what opportunities may arise.

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Posted by on in Education Leadership

Truth is I’d rather run. Board a plane. Take a hike. Read a book. Listen to Brahms or Marvin Gaye or Aretha. Jump out of my skin. Escape.

I have a certain expertise at running: I’m an escape artist. Houdini and me: we have got our act down! I have run from things scary, painful, disorienting or just unfamiliar.

I learned to be an escape artist as a child. When violence threatened at 12 Orchard Drive, I climbed a tree. I climbed a hilltop. I hid invisible (I prayed) behind a formal chair in my mother’s (un-lived-in living room). Later on, I hid in so many extracurricular activities, chose universities far away, accepted jobs that kept me from tigers.


I became adept at recalling only fully-lighted moments from my childhood while turning my back on dark memories where tigers lurked.

Those tigers are smart cookies. They took up residence inside my heart so I would never be without them. Even in what appears to others as a safe place, I feel the tigers prowling. My heart beats a fast and breath-taking tattoo.

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