Yesterday I was very lucky to be part of a group of 18 people talking about programs we initiated in our schools and lessons we learned from the experience. There was a nice mixture of people in the room, young and old, male and female, aboriginal and non-aboriginal, teachers, administrators and even one community member. Each group that was there shared stories from their school, and each group began the same way, with the administrators giving a snap shot of what had happened at their school in the past year.
I noticed something quite amusing as the afternoon wore on, a subtle difference in the room depending on who was speaking. When the principals or vice-principals spoke, everyone listened attentively, nodding along and jotting down notes when something struck a chord with them. The difference came when teachers spoke. It was like the room collectively sat up and leaned in as soon as they began. I do not believe it was because they were better prepared or more well spoken but there was something that filled the room when they had their turn to take the mic. That something was passion. The administrators talked about goals, plans and data while the teachers talked about students, struggles and accomplishments. The afternoon of sharing reminded me of the importance of telling our stories. In each school's presentation I could find pieces I could relate to, things I'd seen in my school. While having those common threads was nice it was their secrets of success that really caught my attention. This would not have been possible had we not taken the time to come together with the intention of sharing.
People all around us are doing great things to solve problems we all may be facing. Wouldn't it be nice if you had the time to sit down and listen to their stories? How would you repay them for their wisdom? It would be easy....tell them your stories.
As always comments or stories are welcome.