In the not to distant past I was all about attending conferences. I was all about being on professional association boards. To me at that time it was all about being seen, it was all about getting name recognition around my state in ed tech. Then I started noticing something. There were a lot of folks who had done that for 20ish years and don’t have a darn thing to show for it in their districts. No major achievements to speak of. Not depth of knowledge to bring to a discussion on the state of ed tech leadership. Just lines, buzz words and saying hi to several hundred people you don’t really know.
In the words of Frank Constanza in “The Strike” (of the Festivus episode), “There had to be another way!”
There is. Good, deep work with your team in your district. I realize now I was using my addiction to conferences and boards as an escape from my day to day struggles as a leader, specifically some of the day to day struggles I was having with staff under my supervision…I thought, enough of this rigmarole, I want to go pretend I’m a budding thought leader for 2.5 days.
Part of the change has been bringing in people who are great team members. Now I’m enjoying the daily process of providing good service and an environment that allows for innovation to happen daily.
Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with conferences and boards. Those are needful pieces to help move people’s learning from where it is, to where it needs to be. It’s necessary infrastructure. My point of view on it now is, everything in moderation. I was way too into it and it was a coping mechanism. I’m glad I’ve left that behind. The real work is at home in your school. The real prizes are in making it work for teachers and students.
I’m very happy I’m enjoying the process again.