Advance Your Thinking, Advance Yourself

The topic came up today about advancement…what does this mean to an educator? In the corporate world this means a different pay rate or a new title or both. To most of us, though, this is different.   Not all of us have dreams to be an administrator…some of us are just dreaming of all of our kids showing work that reflects their potential, getting more support from home, or of us making it until May 🙂  Advancement as we see it is not necessarily moving out of the classroom to another position—many of us will probably be teaching until we are wheeled out—but what can we do every day to advance ourselves and our students? It all comes down to initiative.

In my first post I discussed risk taking, which I believe is initiative in its bravest form! How much are you willing to risk to “advance” yourself, and more importantly, advance your thinking? See, it’s not really us moving to another position, but moving forward—embracing the growth mindset and applying new learning to every situation. When we step out to say “I will (insert new thing here)…” or “Can we (insert crazy idea here)…” you advance more than yourself–you advance the others who come along with you, the ones you influence everyday. It’s all about the initiative to take that first step and advance your thinking, to move forward.

We enroll in MOOC’s with other crazed learners around the world, seek out free programs with certification seemingly important only to us, and even use vacation money to head back to college. We grow our PLN’s and participate in chats, sharing our learning openly and without judgment to people we may never meet. We reach out to our colleagues to help and get help for what we don’t understand. We present and share our new learning any time we have a chance through blogs and talks with our teams. Every day we advance. The payoff for taking initiative to advance ourselves and our thinking may not be a new title or a pay raise but the lasting value is priceless.  And in my book, that is real advancement.